Application of the theory of regulatory fit to promote adherence to evidence-based breast cancer screening recommendations: Experimental versus longitudinal evidence

Serena Petrocchi*, Ramona Ludolph, Nanon H.M. Labrie, Peter Schulz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Objectives To reduce overtreatment caused by overuse of screening, it is advisable to reduce the demand for mammography screening outside the recommended guidelines among women who are not yet eligible for inclusion in systematic screening programmes. According to principles of regulatory fit theory, people make decisions motivated by either orientation to achieving and maximising gains or avoiding losses. A study developed in two phases investigated whether video messages, explaining the risks and benefits of mammography screening for those not yet eligible, are perceived as persuasive Design Phase 1 was an experimental study in which women's motivation orientation was experimentally induced and then they were exposed to a matching video message about mammography screening. A control group received a neutral stimulus. Phase 2 introduced a longitudinal component to study 1, adding a condition in which the messages did not match with the group's motivation orientation. Participants' natural motivation orientation was measured through a validated questionnaire Participants 360 women participated in phase 1 and another 292 in phase 2. Participants' age ranged from 30 to 45 years, and had no history of breast cancer or known BReast CAncer gene (BRCA) 1/2 mutation. Results In phase 1, a match between participants' motivation orientation and message content decreased the intention to seek mammography screening outside the recommended guidelines. Phase 2, however, did not show such an effect. Fear of breast cancer and risk perception were significantly related to intention to seek mammography screening Conclusions Public health researchers should consider reducing the impact of negative emotions (ie, fear of breast cancer) and risk perception when promoting adherence to evidence-based breast cancer screening recommendations.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere037748
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalBMJ Open
Volume10
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Breast tumours
  • preventive medicine
  • public health

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