Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Videos more effective than texts in getting women to take action against breast cancer risks

Date:
November 15, 2013
Source:
National Communication Association
Summary:
A new study finds that video clips embedded on websites with public health messages do a better job than text alone at drawing attention to hazards, and in prompting the public to take recommended protective actions.

A new study finds that video clips embedded on websites with public health messages do a better job than text alone at drawing attention to hazards, and in prompting the public to take recommended protective actions. The study, "Testing the Effects of the Addition of Videos to a Website Promoting Environmental Breast Cancer Risk Reduction Practices: Are Videos Worth It?" was published online today in the National Communication Association's Journal of Applied Communication Research.

The study shows the importance of translating complex scientific information, like recent findings in breast cancer risk research, into information that the average person can understand, and hopefully act upon. This study used the medium of videos as a way to further translate breast cancer risk information beyond simply relying on distilling information through traditional textual means.

"Videos add an element of realness and richness to complicated topics," says the study's lead author, Evan K. Perrault, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication at Michigan State University in East Lansing. "Videos can show people how to take action, instead of just text that can only tell them how."

The study was based around the creation of a website designed to warn mothers about the potential risks to their daughters in regard to a substance called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which has been linked to increased breast cancer risk. The substance is used in the manufacturing of non-stick and stain-resistant coatings and is found in many household products such as flooring treatments, cookware and furniture.

It has been estimated that environmental factors account for roughly two-thirds of U.S. cancers in the United States, but the extent of risk from any given toxin is extremely difficult to determine. The public health campaign discussed in this study was a precautionary one aimed at eliminating adolescent girls' exposure to PFOA, although the actual threat from the chemical is unclear. Rapidly replicating breast cells during puberty make this a crucial time period for girls to avoid potential breast cancer risks.

In the study, Perrault and Communication Professor Kami J. Silk of Michigan State University, recruited 197 mothers of young girls and divided them into two groups. The first group, which ended up including 115 women, was told to access a website with seven pages of text information about the potential hazards of PFOA and how to avoid them. The second group of 82 women was directed to another site, which had the same text but also included video clips on four of the pages.

The mothers were recruited using messages posted on Facebook pages of national mothering organizations, from Craigslist postings and via ads in community newsletters. The mothers received an honorarium of $10 for agreeing to view the websites and for completing two post-viewing surveys.

The videos, which were produced by the researchers, included a 30-second spot located on the website's home page in which a mother discussed her concerns about PFOA. The three other videos included interviews with scientists and footage of the same mother checking items in her household to see if they contained the chemical.

Results from the study indicated that those who viewed the website containing the videos were more inclined to believe their families were susceptible to the effects of PFOA. They also suggested that they could easily make lifestyle changes to avoid exposure to the chemical. In follow-up surveys two weeks after examining the website, those who were shown the video-enhanced website were more likely than those who had viewed the website with only text to have taken a greater number of actions to eliminate PFOA-containing materials from their homes.

"Something as simple as throwing out an old frying pan could potentially have long-lasting benefits for young girls in this window of susceptibility," said Perrault. "Scientists believe that dangerous environmental exposures as young girls may lead to an increased risk of developing breast cancer decades later."

The study also suggested that the most important placement for a video is on a website's homepage, because audiences are less likely to click through and view materials located further into a site. This is potentially valuable knowledge for public health proponents who want to achieve the greatest impact for their prevention messages.

"Videos can add significant cost to public health campaigns," says Perrault. "Our study indicates that videos are worth it if done right and are properly placed within a website."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Communication Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Evan K. Perrault, Kami J. Silk. Testing the Effects of the Addition of Videos to a Website Promoting Environmental Breast Cancer Risk Reduction Practices: Are Videos Worth It? Journal of Applied Communication Research, 2013; 1 DOI: 10.1080/00909882.2013.854400

Cite This Page:

National Communication Association. "Videos more effective than texts in getting women to take action against breast cancer risks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131115093719.htm>.
National Communication Association. (2013, November 15). Videos more effective than texts in getting women to take action against breast cancer risks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131115093719.htm
National Communication Association. "Videos more effective than texts in getting women to take action against breast cancer risks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131115093719.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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