Appearance matters: The frame and focus of health messages influences beliefs about skin cancer

This source preferred by Kevin Thomas

Authors: Thomas, K., Hevey, D., Pertl, M., Ni Chuinneagain, S., Craig, A. and Maher, L.

Journal: British Journal of Health Psychology

Volume: 16

Issue: 2

Pages: 418-429

ISSN: 1359-107X

DOI: 10.1348/135910710X520088

Objectives: This study sought to ascertain whether the health message 'framing effect', which has been observed for several diseases, occurs for messages concerning the consequences of skin cancer for one's appearance or one's health. Specifically, the effect of the frame and focus of health messages on intentions to perform skin protection behaviours and the perceived threat of skin cancer was investigated.

Design: Consistent with previous research (e.g., Kahneman & Tversky, 1979) and to avoid carry-over effects, a two-factor, between-groups (message frame: gain vs. loss * message focus: appearance vs. health) design was used. Methods: Participants (N = 390) were recruited using convenience sampling and presented with one of four health messages, which were embedded in a questionnaire concerning beliefs about skin cancer (intentions to perform different skin protection behaviours, the perceived threat of skin cancer) and body consciousness. The health messages were framed in terms of loss (risks of sun exposure) or gain (benefits of skin protection) and focused on the consequences of sun exposure for one's appearance or one’s health. The primary outcome measures were responses on rating scales concerning the perceived threat of skin cancer, intentions to perform different skin cancer protection behaviours, and body consciousness.

Results: Perceived threat of skin cancer was found to be greater for appearance-focused messages and intentions to perform different skin protection behaviours were greater for loss-framed messages. These findings held when individual differences in body consciousness were controlled for.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that for the communication of information about skin cancer to be effective, messages must focus on the impact of sun exposure and inadequate skin protection for people's appearance, not just their health. Moreover, to maximise effectiveness, health messages about skin cancer should take account of dispositional differences in the importance placed upon one’s appearance.

This data was imported from PubMed:

Authors: Thomas, K., Hevey, D., Pertl, M., Ní Chuinneagáin, S., Craig, A. and Maher, L.

Journal: Br J Health Psychol

Volume: 16

Issue: Pt 2

Pages: 418-429

eISSN: 2044-8287

DOI: 10.1348/135910710X520088

OBJECTIVES: This study sought to ascertain whether the health message 'framing effect', which has been observed for several diseases, occurs for messages concerning the consequences of skin cancer for one's appearance or one's health. Specifically, the effect of the frame and focus of health messages on intentions to perform skin protection behaviours and the perceived threat of skin cancer was investigated. DESIGN: Consistent with previous research and to avoid carry-over effects, a two-factor, between-groups (message frame: gain vs. loss × message focus: appearance vs. health) design was used. METHODS: Participants (N= 390) were recruited using convenience sampling and presented with one of four health messages, which were embedded in a questionnaire concerning beliefs about skin cancer (intentions to perform different skin protection behaviours, the perceived threat of skin cancer) and body consciousness. The health messages were framed in terms of loss (risks of sun exposure) or gain (benefits of skin protection) and focused on the consequences of sun exposure for one's appearance or one's health. The primary outcome measures were responses on rating scales concerning the perceived threat of skin cancer, intentions to perform different skin cancer protection behaviours, and body consciousness. RESULTS: Perceived threat of skin cancer was found to be greater for appearance-focused messages and intentions to perform different skin protection behaviours were greater for loss-framed messages. These findings held when individual differences in body consciousness were controlled for. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that, for the communication of information about skin cancer to be effective, messages must focus on the impact of sun exposure and inadequate skin protection for people's appearance, not just their health. Moreover, to maximize effectiveness, health messages about skin cancer should take account of dispositional differences in the importance placed upon one's appearance.

This data was imported from Scopus:

Authors: Thomas, K., Hevey, D., Pertl, M., Chuinneagáin, S.N., Craig, A. and Maher, L.

Journal: British Journal of Health Psychology

Volume: 16

Issue: 2

Pages: 418-429

eISSN: 2044-8287

ISSN: 1359-107X

DOI: 10.1348/135910710X520088

Objectives. This study sought to ascertain whether the health message 'framing effect', which has been observed for several diseases, occurs for messages concerning the consequences of skin cancer for one's appearance or one's health. Specifically, the effect of the frame and focus of health messages on intentions to perform skin protection behaviours and the perceived threat of skin cancer was investigated. Design. Consistent with previous research and to avoid carry-over effects, a two-factor, between-groups (message frame: gain vs. loss × message focus: appearance vs. health) design was used. Methods. Participants (N= 390) were recruited using convenience sampling and presented with one of four health messages, which were embedded in a questionnaire concerning beliefs about skin cancer (intentions to perform different skin protection behaviours, the perceived threat of skin cancer) and body consciousness. The health messages were framed in terms of loss (risks of sun exposure) or gain (benefits of skin protection) and focused on the consequences of sun exposure for one's appearance or one's health. The primary outcome measures were responses on rating scales concerning the perceived threat of skin cancer, intentions to perform different skin cancer protection behaviours, and body consciousness. Results. Perceived threat of skin cancer was found to be greater for appearance-focused messages and intentions to perform different skin protection behaviours were greater for loss-framed messages. These findings held when individual differences in body consciousness were controlled for. Conclusions. These findings suggest that, for the communication of information about skin cancer to be effective, messages must focus on the impact of sun exposure and inadequate skin protection for people's appearance, not just their health. Moreover, to maximize effectiveness, health messages about skin cancer should take account of dispositional differences in the importance placed upon one's appearance. © 2010 The British Psychological Society.

This data was imported from Web of Science (Lite):

Authors: Thomas, K., Hevey, D., Pertl, M., Ni Chuinneagain, S., Craig, A. and Maher, L.

Journal: BRITISH JOURNAL OF HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY

Volume: 16

Pages: 418-429

ISSN: 1359-107X

DOI: 10.1348/135910710X520088

This data was imported from Europe PubMed Central:

Authors: Thomas, K., Hevey, D., Pertl, M., Ní Chuinneagáin, S., Craig, A. and Maher, L.

Journal: British journal of health psychology

Volume: 16

Issue: Pt 2

Pages: 418-429

eISSN: 2044-8287

ISSN: 1359-107X

OBJECTIVES: This study sought to ascertain whether the health message 'framing effect', which has been observed for several diseases, occurs for messages concerning the consequences of skin cancer for one's appearance or one's health. Specifically, the effect of the frame and focus of health messages on intentions to perform skin protection behaviours and the perceived threat of skin cancer was investigated. DESIGN: Consistent with previous research and to avoid carry-over effects, a two-factor, between-groups (message frame: gain vs. loss × message focus: appearance vs. health) design was used. METHODS: Participants (N= 390) were recruited using convenience sampling and presented with one of four health messages, which were embedded in a questionnaire concerning beliefs about skin cancer (intentions to perform different skin protection behaviours, the perceived threat of skin cancer) and body consciousness. The health messages were framed in terms of loss (risks of sun exposure) or gain (benefits of skin protection) and focused on the consequences of sun exposure for one's appearance or one's health. The primary outcome measures were responses on rating scales concerning the perceived threat of skin cancer, intentions to perform different skin cancer protection behaviours, and body consciousness. RESULTS: Perceived threat of skin cancer was found to be greater for appearance-focused messages and intentions to perform different skin protection behaviours were greater for loss-framed messages. These findings held when individual differences in body consciousness were controlled for. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that, for the communication of information about skin cancer to be effective, messages must focus on the impact of sun exposure and inadequate skin protection for people's appearance, not just their health. Moreover, to maximize effectiveness, health messages about skin cancer should take account of dispositional differences in the importance placed upon one's appearance.

The data on this page was last updated at 04:54 on April 18, 2019.