An examination into audience targeting and the use of storytelling or statistical evidence on breast cancer websites

Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media, Michigan State University, USA.
Patient Education and Counseling (Impact Factor: 2.2). 02/2011; 85(2):e59-64. DOI: 10.1016/j.pec.2011.01.008
Source: PubMed


This research sought to address the presence of information targeting low literacy, racially diverse, non-English speaking, and age diverse audiences on breast cancer websites. In addition, this study documented the utilization of evidence strategies, either statistics or storytelling, for these audiences.
This research examined these relationships on 157 breast cancer websites through content analysis.
Nearly half of websites did not contain any of the elements targeting diverse literacy, racial/ethnic, language, and age audiences. Websites with multiple languages were more likely than monolingual websites to use statistics, and websites with low literacy sections were less likely than others to do so. Websites with ethnic or racial diversity and age diversity were more likely than other websites to use first person storytelling about breast cancer.
Current breast cancer websites demonstrate promising use of targeting specific audiences and employing evidence strategies prescribed as effective by past research, however there is room for improvement.
Tip sheets for incorporating audience targeting, readability, and storytelling should be created for health organizations to use in the process of developing their websites, as these constructs were found only sparingly on the assessed sites.

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    • "However, as other studies found narrative to be more effective, we hypothesize that culture may be playing a role in our findings. To date, all published studies testing any difference between narrative and didactic messages were conducted in English speaking countries, mainly the United States (Kreuter et al., 2010;Slater et al., 2003;Winterbottom et al., 2011;Whitten et al., 2011;Wise et al., 2008). The sample in this study was composed of young adult women, with a high educational level. "
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    ABSTRACT: Cancer is one of the leading causes of death around the world. Mortality from breast cancer can be reduced if the cancer is detected early enough. It is important to find effective communication that encourages early detection of breast cancer. This study aimed to measure differences between narrative and didactic communication on breast cancer awareness, knowledge of appropriate diagnostic exams, attitude toward breast self-exam, and intention to screen for breast cancer through a breast self-exam. It further aimed to test whether any differences in outcomes were associated with the format used to deliver the communication: video or infographic. The effects of the communication strategies were tested using an experimental design with a control group and four experimental groups: narrative video, didactic video, narrative infographic, or didactic infographic. A total of 194 Italian-speaking women ages 18-30 years completed questionnaires before and after exposure. Positive increases were found for all outcome variables after exposure to any communication strategy tested. The didactic message delivered in video format had the most positive effect on awareness and knowledge, whereas the narrative video message had the most positive effect on attitude and intention. For both message types, videos had a more positive influence than infographics when communicating breast cancer information for this audience. This was the first study of message effects of breast cancer communication with Italian-speaking young women. Further research is warranted to understand how to maximize communication strategies so that they are the most effective in influencing behaviors and if these results are consistent with other linguistic populations.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Journal of Health Communication
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    ABSTRACT: Health websites are used frequently, but there are many concerns about their value as information sources. Additionally, there are numerous personal barriers that prevent individuals from wholly benefitting from them. In order to assess the quality of health websites and their accessibility to users, we created tools based on previous research that examine design aspects, information validity, motivational health content and literacy content. To test these tools, we examined 155 breast cancer websites and created scores for each assessment tool to describe the percent of constructs on the average website. Results demonstrated that websites performed best on the design tool followed by the information validity, motivational health content and literacy assessment tools. The average website contained the majority of the design and information validity constructs, but only about a third of the motivational health or literacy constructs. Multiple items from the motivational health content and literacy assessment tools were not found on any of the websites, and many were only represented on a handful of sites. Overall, the assessment tools were useful in evaluating the quality of websites, and could serve as valuable resources for health website developers in the future.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2013 · Informatics for Health and Social Care

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