SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1991

Designing Effective Health Education for Downhill Skiers: Results of a Randomized Intervention Study


This article presents the results of a randomized intervention study among Dutch downhill skiers of 18 years and older. The objective of the study was to find an effective method to convince skiers that they have to adjust their ski bindings adequately. Literature study revealed that adequate adjustment of bindings (that is, by an expert and by means of a test device) is the most important behavior that can be manipulated to decrease the occurrence of ski injuries.

Three conditions were varied: when (the “moment”) information materials were sent to skiers (one week versus three weeks before departure on a ski vacation), the medium (cassette versus leaflet), and the approach (fear-arousing versus neutral information). In this way, eight experimental groups were composed. In addition, a control group was formed that did not receive any information. The effects of the three conditions on the following factors were measured: attention, comprehension, intention, and behavior.

The cassette received a higher degree of attention than the leaflet, irrespective of time or degree of fear. The level of comprehension was higher in all experimental groups than in the control group. The information sent long before departure and with a high degree of fear produced the most effect on the level of comprehension. As for the factors intention and behavior, no differences were found between the experimental groups and the control group. Differences in intention and behavior did appear among the distinctive experimental groups. The information sent shortly before departure as well as the information with a low degree of fear proved to have the least effect on intention. Behavior was most affected by information with a high degree of fear, irrespective of time and medium.

Author Information

Damoiseaux, VMG
University of Limburg, Maastricht, the Netherlands
de Jongh, AML
University of Limburg, Maastricht, the Netherlands
Bouter, LM
University of Limburg, Maastricht, the Netherlands
Hospers, HJ
University of Limburg, Maastricht, the Netherlands
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Developed by Committee: F27
Pages: 241–248
DOI: 10.1520/STP17649S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5164-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1405-0