May 24th 2018

A summary of the project designed and created for youth up North.

In response to rising STBBI rates in the region, the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services (NRBHSS) launched the CheckUp Project, a communication campaign aiming to normalize testing, using social marketing.
The project comprised professionally made media including videos, memes, GIFs, and quotations that were developed in collaboration local celebrities and opinion-leaders. The media were shared on social media in an effort to positively influence attitude, social norms and the impression of control over STBBI-checking behaviour of youths aged 15-to-35. 
We assessed the effectiveness of the media utilizing mixed-method techniques including quantitative analysis of Facebook usage statistics, in-depth qualitative interviews with Inuit youth (N=50), and analysis of laboratory data. 
One year after launch the page had reached 1400 subscribers. The main video was played over 3,000 times. 
Of the 50 interviewees, 58% were aware of the campaign, 94% of youth had a positive attitude towards STBBI screening and 80% evaluated that the norm in their community favoured screening. Messages addressing confidentiality, featuring local opinion-leaders, de-dramatizing and empowering youth were preferred by respondents.   
In the first 9 months of the campaign screening rates in the region increased by 35%, with a significant increase among men and youth. The ratio of positive tests increased by 28%.
Communication campaigns using social marketing through social media is an effective way to reach out to Inuit youth and may have contributed to the increase in the use of screening services in Nunavik.
Véronique Morin MD MHP, Faye LeGresley RN, Caroline d'Astous, Simon Veilleux, Jean-Étienne Poirier.
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