Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Messages Of Hope Work Better In Motivating Black Patients To Seek Early Screening For Cancer

Date:
November 12, 2008
Source:
Saint Louis University
Summary:
News articles that stress African-American health disparities, like higher cancer mortality rates than other groups, may discourage black patients from being screened for cancer, according to a new study. Instead, they are more likely to be tested for cancer after hearing positive messages that emphasize progress made among African-American cancer patients.

News articles that stress African-American health disparities, like higher cancer mortality rates than other groups, may discourage black patients from being screened for cancer, according to a Saint Louis University study. Instead, they are more likely to be tested for cancer after hearing positive messages that emphasize progress made among African-American cancer patients.

While the medical community typically has publicized health disparities as a means of motivating those most at risk to seek health care and take preventive action, it seems this tactic may have the opposite result.

"Traditionally, we've assumed that the best way to reach people who are at risk is to point out the disparity," said Robert Nicholson, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurology and psychiatry at Saint Louis University School of Medicine and School of Public Health. "However, it appears that this may actually serve to discourage some people from being screened. It may be that disparity messages reinforce existing distrust of the medical system."

In the study of 300 African-American men and women, researchers examined the effect of a message's focus and framing on participants' willingness to be screened for colon cancer. Study participants read one of four articles about risk factors for colorectal cancer, all arranged with the same data and physical layout, but each with a different emphasis. One article focused on the impact of colon cancer, as an important health issue for African-Americans, two described health care disparities between African-Americans and other groups, and a fourth emphasized the progress that is being made as African-Americans have seen decreasing death rates from colon cancer.

Researchers measured participants' emotional responses along with their desire to be screened for colorectal cancer. They found that the progress article resulted in the strongest desire to be screened for cancer, and the disparity stories in the lowest. The study suggests that, rather than prompting preventive action, emphasizing health care disparities may reinforce negative views about the medical community and serve to discourage African-Americans from being screened.

"When we create public health messages, we need to think about the audience and who will benefit," Nicholson said. "The same approach will not work for everyone. For some, the disparities will be motivating. In this case, the people who most needed the screenings were those who didn't accept the messages.

"The good news is that people who received positive messages, even those with high levels of mistrust for the medical community, expressed a willingness to be screened," Nicholson said. "Positive messages may help overcome mistrust of the medical system."

The findings were published in the November issue of Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers, & Prevention.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Saint Louis University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Saint Louis University. "Messages Of Hope Work Better In Motivating Black Patients To Seek Early Screening For Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081112101344.htm>.
Saint Louis University. (2008, November 12). Messages Of Hope Work Better In Motivating Black Patients To Seek Early Screening For Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081112101344.htm
Saint Louis University. "Messages Of Hope Work Better In Motivating Black Patients To Seek Early Screening For Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081112101344.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Nigerian authorities have shut and quarantined a Lagos hospital where a Liberian man died of the Ebola virus, the first recorded case of the highly-infectious disease in Africa's most populous economy. David Pollard reports Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Newsy (July 29, 2014) According to a new study, just five minutes of running or jogging a day could add years to your life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Newsy (July 29, 2014) The Ebola outbreak in West Africa poses little threat to Americans, according to officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins