Effects of Media Exposure to Conflicting Information About Mammography: Results From a Population-based Survey Experiment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Although there is growing theoretical and empirical support for the proposition that media exposure to conflicting health information negatively influences public understanding and behavior, few studies have causally linked exposure to conflict with undesirable outcomes. Such outcomes might be particularly likely in the context of mammography, given widespread media attention to conflicting recommendations about the age at and frequency with which average-risk women should be screened for breast cancer. PURPOSE: The current study tests whether exposure to conflicting information about mammography negatively influences women's affective and cognitive responses and examines whether effects vary by socioeconomic position. METHODS: We conducted an online survey experiment in 2016 with a population-based sample of U.S. women aged 35-55 (N = 1,474). Participants were randomly assigned to one of four conditions that differed in the level of conflict about mammography presented in a news story (no, low, medium, or high conflict), stratifying by poverty level. RESULTS: Greater exposure to conflict increased women's negative emotional responses to the story they read, their confusion about and backlash toward cancer prevention recommendations and research, and their ambivalence about mammography and other types of cancer screening, though ambivalence leveled off at high levels of exposure. There was little evidence that effects varied across socioeconomic position. CONCLUSIONS: Findings add to the growing evidence base documenting undesirable outcomes of exposure to conflicting health information. Future research should examine whether the negative affective and cognitive responses observed translate into behavior, which could have implications for both health campaigns and patient-provider communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)896-908
Number of pages13
JournalAnnals of behavioral medicine : a publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine
Volume53
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 29 2019

Fingerprint

Mammography
Population
Health
Poverty
Health Promotion
Early Detection of Cancer
Communication
Breast Neoplasms
Conflict (Psychology)
Surveys and Questionnaires
Research
Neoplasms

Keywords

  • Conflicting health information
  • Health communication
  • Mammography
  • Population-based survey experiment
  • Socioeconomic position

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

Cite this

@article{3fc234506eb5457d97bd029dca624cf8,
title = "Effects of Media Exposure to Conflicting Information About Mammography: Results From a Population-based Survey Experiment",
abstract = "BACKGROUND: Although there is growing theoretical and empirical support for the proposition that media exposure to conflicting health information negatively influences public understanding and behavior, few studies have causally linked exposure to conflict with undesirable outcomes. Such outcomes might be particularly likely in the context of mammography, given widespread media attention to conflicting recommendations about the age at and frequency with which average-risk women should be screened for breast cancer. PURPOSE: The current study tests whether exposure to conflicting information about mammography negatively influences women's affective and cognitive responses and examines whether effects vary by socioeconomic position. METHODS: We conducted an online survey experiment in 2016 with a population-based sample of U.S. women aged 35-55 (N = 1,474). Participants were randomly assigned to one of four conditions that differed in the level of conflict about mammography presented in a news story (no, low, medium, or high conflict), stratifying by poverty level. RESULTS: Greater exposure to conflict increased women's negative emotional responses to the story they read, their confusion about and backlash toward cancer prevention recommendations and research, and their ambivalence about mammography and other types of cancer screening, though ambivalence leveled off at high levels of exposure. There was little evidence that effects varied across socioeconomic position. CONCLUSIONS: Findings add to the growing evidence base documenting undesirable outcomes of exposure to conflicting health information. Future research should examine whether the negative affective and cognitive responses observed translate into behavior, which could have implications for both health campaigns and patient-provider communication.",
keywords = "Conflicting health information, Health communication, Mammography, Population-based survey experiment, Socioeconomic position",
author = "Nagler, {Rebekah H} and Marco Yzer and Rothman, {Alexander J}",
year = "2019",
month = "8",
day = "29",
doi = "10.1093/abm/kay098",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "53",
pages = "896--908",
journal = "Annals of Behavioral Medicine",
issn = "0883-6612",
publisher = "Springer New York",
number = "10",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Effects of Media Exposure to Conflicting Information About Mammography

T2 - Results From a Population-based Survey Experiment

AU - Nagler, Rebekah H

AU - Yzer, Marco

AU - Rothman, Alexander J

PY - 2019/8/29

Y1 - 2019/8/29

N2 - BACKGROUND: Although there is growing theoretical and empirical support for the proposition that media exposure to conflicting health information negatively influences public understanding and behavior, few studies have causally linked exposure to conflict with undesirable outcomes. Such outcomes might be particularly likely in the context of mammography, given widespread media attention to conflicting recommendations about the age at and frequency with which average-risk women should be screened for breast cancer. PURPOSE: The current study tests whether exposure to conflicting information about mammography negatively influences women's affective and cognitive responses and examines whether effects vary by socioeconomic position. METHODS: We conducted an online survey experiment in 2016 with a population-based sample of U.S. women aged 35-55 (N = 1,474). Participants were randomly assigned to one of four conditions that differed in the level of conflict about mammography presented in a news story (no, low, medium, or high conflict), stratifying by poverty level. RESULTS: Greater exposure to conflict increased women's negative emotional responses to the story they read, their confusion about and backlash toward cancer prevention recommendations and research, and their ambivalence about mammography and other types of cancer screening, though ambivalence leveled off at high levels of exposure. There was little evidence that effects varied across socioeconomic position. CONCLUSIONS: Findings add to the growing evidence base documenting undesirable outcomes of exposure to conflicting health information. Future research should examine whether the negative affective and cognitive responses observed translate into behavior, which could have implications for both health campaigns and patient-provider communication.

AB - BACKGROUND: Although there is growing theoretical and empirical support for the proposition that media exposure to conflicting health information negatively influences public understanding and behavior, few studies have causally linked exposure to conflict with undesirable outcomes. Such outcomes might be particularly likely in the context of mammography, given widespread media attention to conflicting recommendations about the age at and frequency with which average-risk women should be screened for breast cancer. PURPOSE: The current study tests whether exposure to conflicting information about mammography negatively influences women's affective and cognitive responses and examines whether effects vary by socioeconomic position. METHODS: We conducted an online survey experiment in 2016 with a population-based sample of U.S. women aged 35-55 (N = 1,474). Participants were randomly assigned to one of four conditions that differed in the level of conflict about mammography presented in a news story (no, low, medium, or high conflict), stratifying by poverty level. RESULTS: Greater exposure to conflict increased women's negative emotional responses to the story they read, their confusion about and backlash toward cancer prevention recommendations and research, and their ambivalence about mammography and other types of cancer screening, though ambivalence leveled off at high levels of exposure. There was little evidence that effects varied across socioeconomic position. CONCLUSIONS: Findings add to the growing evidence base documenting undesirable outcomes of exposure to conflicting health information. Future research should examine whether the negative affective and cognitive responses observed translate into behavior, which could have implications for both health campaigns and patient-provider communication.

KW - Conflicting health information

KW - Health communication

KW - Mammography

KW - Population-based survey experiment

KW - Socioeconomic position

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85063166355&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85063166355&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1093/abm/kay098

DO - 10.1093/abm/kay098

M3 - Article

C2 - 30596830

AN - SCOPUS:85063166355

VL - 53

SP - 896

EP - 908

JO - Annals of Behavioral Medicine

JF - Annals of Behavioral Medicine

SN - 0883-6612

IS - 10

ER -