Enhancing the effectiveness of media messages promoting regular breast self-examination: Messages based on innovation adoption principles
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Enhancing the effectiveness of media messages promoting regular breast self-examination: Messages based on innovation adoption principles

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  • English

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      Public Health Rep
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      As public health departments have come to rely more and more on the mass media for the promotion of healthful behavior, it has become increasingly desirable to determine the motivating capability of the messages used in this promotion. A fact that is well understood is that many times any message at all is better than none. However, the effectiveness of various media health messages has not been well researched.A study was therefore undertaken of the comparative effectiveness of two different messages describing how to do a breast self-examination. An "experimental message" for the study was designed by applying the principles that facilitate innovation adoption to the message's format and presentation. This message's impact was then compared with that of the American Cancer Society's pamphlet "How To Examine Your Breasts." This pamphlet had been mailed to a sample of women similar to those receiving the experimental message, but who lived in a different geographic area. The use in each area of control groups who had received no messages afforded an opportunity to study maturation effects (other factors than the mailings that might have influenced study results).The experimental message proved more successful in persuading women to adopt breast self-examination than the comparison message. The women who reported a change in breast self-examination practice following the mailing could be characterized as having a more extensive social support system to promote breast examinations and as having a pre-experiment perception that breast self-examination was a complex practice to perform repeatedly at regular intervals.
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