The Effects of Message Framing on Mammography Utilization

Sara M. Banks, Peter Salovey, Susan Greener, Alexander J. Rothman, Anne Moyer, John Beauvais, Elissa Epel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

273 Scopus citations


This experiment compared the effectiveness of gain-versus loss-framed messages to persuade women to obtain mammography screening. One hundred and thirty-three women 40 years and older and not adhering to current guidelines for obtaining mammography screening were assigned randomly to view either gain-framed (emphasizing the benefits of obtaining mammography) or loss-framed (emphasizing the risks of not obtaining mammography) persuasive videos that were factually equivalent. Attitudes and beliefs were measured before and immediately following the intervention. Mammography utilization was assessed 6 and 12 months later. Consistent with predictions based on prospect theory, women who viewed the loss-framed message were more likely to have obtained a mammogram within 12 months of the intervention. These findings suggest that loss-framed messages may have an advantage in the promotion of detection behaviors such as mammography.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-184
Number of pages7
JournalHealth Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1995


  • cancer screening
  • framing
  • health behavior
  • mammography
  • persuasion

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