Motivating cancer prevention and early detection behaviors using psychologically tailored messages.
Sommaire de l'article
Tailoring health messages to make them salient to recipients is a strategy to motivate cancer prevention and early detection behaviors. Various tactics can be used to tailor health materials; our approach involves tailoring messages to individual differences in the psychological processes by which people understand health information. To summarize our tailoring approach, we review findings from six field experiments (four published, two pending publication) conducted in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI’s) Cancer Information Service (CIS) examining the utility of psychologically tailored messages. Messages were tailored to individual variability in the following: (a) need for cognition, (b) monitor/blunting coping style, (c) health locus of control, and (d) regulatory focus. Collectively, the findings suggest that, as hypothesized, messages congruent with the recipients’ psychological style of health information processing (i.e., matched messages) are more persuasive in promoting screening mammography and fruit and vegetable consumption than mismatched messages. This line of research provides evidence for the utility of psychological tailoring as a health communication strategy and direction for developing effective health messages in a variety of settings.