Cancer Control Research5R01CA068427-13
PROMOTING CANCER PREVENTION/CONTROL WITH MESSAGE FRAMING
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): In partnership with the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Information Service (CIS), the overarching goal of the proposed research is to develop effective messages that inspire people to make healthy lifestyle choices across the cancer continuum. The specific objective is two-fold: (a) to examine the effectiveness of messages tailored to individuals' tendency to be concerned with achievement versus safety in motivating health behavior change (i.e., are messages psychologically tailored in this way effective?), and (b) to examine the potential factors (mechanisms) that explain the processes underlying the observed behavior change (i.e., how do messages psychologically tailored in this way work?). Building on 17 years of health communication research in our lab, seven experiments are proposed for a five-year project period. Three experiments (Experiments 1-3) examine the effectiveness of psychologically tailored messages and their mechanisms in the context of promoting fruit and vegetable intake. Four experiments (Experiments 4-7) test psychologically tailored messages in the context of promoting physical activity. These target behaviors are associated with an improved quality of life in cancer survivors and a reduced risk of developing certain cancers. The effectiveness of psychologically tailored materials versus standard CIS materials is compared in four populations: healthy CIS patrons (Experiments 1 & 4), healthy adults who are underserved (Experiments 3 & 6), breast cancer survivors posttreatment (Experiments 2 & 5), and newly diagnosed breast cancer survivors (Experiment 7). Extending research across the cancer continuum will broaden the reach of CIS-based health promotion initiatives and contribute to the National Cancer Institute's efforts to improve cancer survivors' quality of life and overcome cancer disparities. It is our hope that findings from this line of research will allow us to continue to articulate a set of tailoring and framing principles for developing especially effective health messages that can be adopted by public health agencies and practitioners in diverse settings for a variety of populations.