Scope It Out 5K: Impact of Community Events on Health Awareness
This study discusses the process of organizing a road race and explores the impact of the subsequent sporting event on the health awareness of participants. Specifically, the study explores the impact of the March 19, 2005 Scope It Out 5K Run/Walk for Colon Cancer Awareness on the (1) awareness of colorectal cancer, (2) knowledge of colorectal cancer, and (3) willingness to get a colonoscopy of the race participants. In order to determine if there was an increase in colon cancer awareness and knowledge, pre-race and post-race electronic surveys of the participants were conducted. Video interviews of seven, random, race-day participants were also conducted. Survey results were analyzed using statistical methods. As predicted, the study found the race, in conjunction with its associated communications campaign, increased awareness and knowledge of colorectal cancer among race participants. The campaign included the race website, newspaper advertisements, flyers, brochures, two television interviews, and race packets with information on colorectal cancer, t-shirts, signage, and awards ceremony. The post-race ceremony included a speech by a doctor who is an authority in the treatment of gastrointestinal malignancies. The race also positively influenced participants' willingness to be screened for colorectal cancer. These results suggest a race to save lives is an effective tool in educating people about the risk of colorectal cancer and the necessity of getting 'scoped.
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