Persuading Women to Have Mammograms: Practical and Theoretical Perspectives

Paul N. Bloom, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
[ to cite ]:
Paul N. Bloom (1993) ,"Persuading Women to Have Mammograms: Practical and Theoretical Perspectives", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 20, eds. Leigh McAlister and Michael L. Rothschild, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 365.

Advances in Consumer Research Volume 20, 1993      Page 365

PERSUADING WOMEN TO HAVE MAMMOGRAMS: PRACTICAL AND THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES

Paul N. Bloom, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

This Presidential Session was organized to accomplish the goal of improving the dialogue between practitioners of social marketing and more theoretically-oriented ACR researchers. Four papers were presented. The first two papers were written by people who have been involved with real-world programs that seek to persuade women to have regular mammograms. The second two papers were written by academic researchers who have been testing theories that would appear to have considerable relevance for persuading women to have regular mammograms. The discussants (Christopher Puto, University of Arizona, and George Balch, University of Illinois, Chicago) commented on the papers from both practitioner and academic perspectives.

The first paper was by Cathy Coyne (AMC Cancer Research Center), Diane Bloom (School of Public Health, University of North Carolina), and Julie Andresen (freelance consultant) and was titled "Using Qualitative Research to Develop Strategies to Reach Women with Cancer Screening Messages." The presentation summarized the findings of a series of focus groups that were done with Colorado women on their feelings about mammograms and pap smears. These findings have been used to guide communications programs of the AMC Cancer Research Center and other institutions. This paper can be found in this proceedings.

The second paper was by Cynthia Currence (American Cancer Society) and was titled "Tailoring Mammography Communications Using Compass Analysis." The presentation described a PC-based target marketing software system that the American Cancer Society has acquired and used to guide it in designing communications. The system enables the Society to obtain a richer profile of target audiences. By drawing on secondary data sources (primarily Census data), it is possible to profile dominant traits of people living in certain areas. The dominant demographic characteristics, buying habits, transportation habits, and media behaviors can all be identified.

The third paper was by Radhika Puri and Joan Meyers-Levy (both of the University of Chicago) and was titled "The Power of Numbers." The presentation reported on an experimental study that tested the persuasiveness of alternative means of presenting statistical information. Their results showed that two forms of numeric representation C incidence rates and percentages C are equally persuasive unless the percentages are illustrated with pie charts, in which case the message is less persuasive.

The final paper was by Lauren Goldberg Block (New York University) and Punam Anand (Columbia University) and was titled "When to Accentuate the Negative: The Effects of Perceived Efficacy and Message Framing on Intentions to Perform a Health Related Behavior." The presentation reported on an experimental study that found (1) negatively framed messages produced greater behavioral intentions when subjects were uncertain about the efficacy of the preventive behavior and (2) positively framed messages produced greater intentions when subjects saw the preventive behavior as having high efficacy.

----------------------------------------