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Cervical Cancer Messages in Women’s Magazines: A Content Analysis Grounded in the Extended Parallel Process Model
Unformatted Document Text:  Cervical Cancer 24 understand the limitations and problems associated with pap tests, it is also important that women understand these limitations can be overcome. Magazines reporting incidences of pap failures should be cognizant of including messages that will help women to make such judgments. Several limitations of this study need to be addressed. First, the sample was small which may have resulted in lack of statistical power to detect differences. Future projects of this nature should include a larger sample size to ensure statistical power. Second, the researchers determined what kinds of messages constituted the constructs under study. It is possible that other messages not coded could be considered by readers as threatening or efficacious in nature. Different conceptualizations of the component categories may yield different results and should be considered for future research projects. Third, a full-text database was used to access the articles and it is possible that some issues were not included in the database, resulting in an undercount of articles covering cervical cancer for any given magazine. Conclusions The findings in this exploratory study revealed first that cervical cancer receives at best minimal coverage in popular women’s magazines. Cervical cancer deaths are easily prevented if women obtain regular pap tests, thus on the whole it would be beneficial for readers if cervical cancer issues were covered more often. Furthermore, we found that there is a general lack of balance in coverage of threat and efficacy components of the EPPM, suggesting that the information found in women’s magazines might not be empowering women to seek regular pap tests. It is recommended that authors and editors of women’s magazines include messages that promote the activation of danger control processes by helping women not only understand their risk for developing cervical cancer, but that they are also capable of averting the threat by

Authors: Brown, Colleen. and Lewis, Melissa.
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Cervical Cancer 24
understand the limitations and problems associated with pap tests, it is also important that
women understand these limitations can be overcome. Magazines reporting incidences of pap
failures should be cognizant of including messages that will help women to make such
judgments.
Several limitations of this study need to be addressed. First, the sample was small which
may have resulted in lack of statistical power to detect differences. Future projects of this nature
should include a larger sample size to ensure statistical power. Second, the researchers
determined what kinds of messages constituted the constructs under study. It is possible that
other messages not coded could be considered by readers as threatening or efficacious in nature.
Different conceptualizations of the component categories may yield different results and should
be considered for future research projects. Third, a full-text database was used to access the
articles and it is possible that some issues were not included in the database, resulting in an
undercount of articles covering cervical cancer for any given magazine.
Conclusions
The findings in this exploratory study revealed first that cervical cancer receives at best
minimal coverage in popular women’s magazines. Cervical cancer deaths are easily prevented if
women obtain regular pap tests, thus on the whole it would be beneficial for readers if cervical
cancer issues were covered more often. Furthermore, we found that there is a general lack of
balance in coverage of threat and efficacy components of the EPPM, suggesting that the
information found in women’s magazines might not be empowering women to seek regular pap
tests. It is recommended that authors and editors of women’s magazines include messages that
promote the activation of danger control processes by helping women not only understand their
risk for developing cervical cancer, but that they are also capable of averting the threat by


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