Testing different formats for communicating colorectal cancer risk.
This study assessed the extent to which different formats of informing men and women age 50 and over of the risks of colorectal cancer (CRC) affected their perceptions of their absolute and comparative (self versus other) 10-year and lifetime risks; emotional reactions about getting CRC; and screening intentions. Forty-four men and 78 women received information about the absolute lifetime risk of getting CRC. In addition, participants either did or did not receive information about (1) lifetime risk of getting CRC compared with other cancers, and (2) risk factors for CRC (age and polyps). Participants who received risk factors information were more likely to increase their perceived absolute 10-year and lifetime risks of getting CRC compared with participants who did not receive risk factors information. In addition, participants who received risk factors information were more likely to believe age was related to getting CRC and felt at greater risk for having polyps compared with participants who did not receive this information. None of the experimental conditions affected how worried, anxious, and fearful participants felt about getting CRC, nor did they affect screening intentions. Independent of experimental condition, participants tended to increase their intentions to get screened for CRC in the next year or two. Intention to be screened was more pronounced among participants who had been screened via a fecal occult blood test (FOBT) or sigmoidoscopy (SIG). Implications for the design of interventions involving the communication of CRC risks are discussed.
Lipkus, IM; Crawford, Y; Fenn, K; Biradavolu, M; Binder, RA; Marcus, A; Mason, M
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