Increasing Screening Intentions for Oral and Pharyngeal Cancer


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Abstract

BackgroundOral and pharyngeal cancer is a serious health threat that goes unnoticed by most people. Increasing screenings for oral and pharyngeal cancer is essential to achieving early detection when the disease is most treatable.PurposeWe tested the effectiveness of a media campaign designed to increase intentions to seek an oral and pharyngeal cancer screening. We further examined whether concern and knowledge of oral and pharyngeal cancer mediated screening intentions.MethodsParticipants in the intervention condition received messages on posters, handheld fans, pamphlets, and magnets displayed on the sides of cars or trucks. Participants in the intervention and comparison conditions (N = 1,790) were surveyed prior to and after the intervention.ResultsIntervention participants reported greater intentions to seek free oral and pharyngeal cancer screenings. Concern about oral and pharyngeal cancer partially mediated the effect whereas knowledge did not.ConclusionsOur media campaign successfully increased screening intentions by heightening concerns.

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