PMID: 7088974Jan 1, 1982Paper

Communication and behavior change for cancer control

Progress in Clinical and Biological Research
C Mettlin, K M Cummings

Abstract

Even though behavior can sometimes be changed in a planned way without clear understanding or its original causes, efforts to modify behavior will ultimately be more successful if they grow out of an understanding of causal processes. The literature and experience in communication of health information have identified a number of conditions which affect the likelihood of health education campaigns being effective. Conditions conductive to effective attitude and behavior change through communications are summarized below: (1) Novelty in the way the message is presented to attract attention. (2) Use of multiple channels of communication to increase the probability of reaching the target audience. (3) Pretesting of health messages to ensure that the information is understood by the target audience. (4) Repetition of the message by multiple sources of high credibility. (5) Targeting of specific behaviors to be changed rather than a general orientation. (6) Incorporation of specific behavioral instructions (e.g. tips on how to quit smoking), in the communications. In conclusion, we have attempted to suggest that measured against what prudence science leads us to expect, cancer information and education programs have been dramaticall...Continue Reading

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Health Education
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