Publications & Reports

Successes in sexual health communications development, programmatic implementation and evaluation in the Torres Strait region 2006 to 2012.

Fagan PS, Robertson HK, Pedrana AE, Raulli A, Crouch AA
School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences, James Cook University, Queensland.


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the Indigenous sexual health promotion program in the Torres Strait 2006-2012 that culminated in an education-entertainment radio drama, Kasa Por Yarn (KPY). METHODS: A mixed methods approach applied to unpublished program documents and program-derived peer-reviewed publications was utilised. RESULTS: Early initiatives established a strong partnership with Torres Strait Islander stakeholders. Significant community engagement throughout ensured a positive process. Telephone survey data (n=100, TSI, 15-24 years) found: 95% had heard of KPY and 80% listened to 2 or more episodes (reach); 86% recalled storylines/characters (recall); and 54% talked about KPY to family/friends (resonance). There was improvement in sexual health knowledge scores (p<0.00) in the 15-19-year-old Torres Strait Islander population between 2007 and 2012. The 2012 15-24-year-old population exposed to KPY had higher sexual health knowledge scores compared with those unexposed (p=0.02). CONCLUSIONS: This is an uncommon comprehensive evaluation of population-based sexual health communications strategies delivered over years in a remote Australian setting. The findings are encouraging but demonstrate that positive shifts take time and are incremental. IMPLICATIONS: In addition to clinical strategies, strategic and sustained investment in sexual health promotion expertise that leads community partnership and program development is required to reduce youth risk and prevent HIV/AIDS in remote populations.


  • Journal: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
  • Published: 01/06/2015
  • Volume: 39
  • Issue: 3
  • Pagination: 270-276