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A content analysis of news coverage of skin cancer prevention and detection, 1979-2002
Unformatted Document Text:  Skin cancer news coverage 4 mammogram screening rates increased immediately following Betty Ford and “Happy” Rockefeller’s surgeries for breast cancer in 1974 (Fink et al., 1978) , and that women reported stronger intentions to get a mammogram after Nancy Reagan’s announcement that she had breast cancer in 1987 (Stoddard, Zapka, & Schoenfeld, 1990) . Similarly, colorectal screening rates increased after Ronald Reagan underwent surgery to remove an intestinal tumor (Brown & Potosky, 1990) . The sum of evidence suggests that a compelling event, such as a celebrity diagnosis of cancer, can generate substantial news coverage capable of producing temporary changes in health behavior. The second conceptualization entails more gradual and cumulative effects of news coverage on long-term secular trends in health behavior. Comparable to agenda-setting research (McCombs, 1993, 1972) , the basic causal mechanism operating is that the quantity of news coverage about a health behavior produces changes in population-level behavior. Trend analyses have provided visually compelling evidence of concomitant variation between news coverage and a variety of health behaviors including the following: discontinuance of use of intra-uterine devices and oral contraceptives (Jones, Beniger, & Westoff, 1980) ; discontinuance of aspirin and other salycilates in children (Soumerai, Ross-Degnan, & Kahn, 1992) ; and smoking cessation and initiation (Pierce & Gilpin, 2001) . More sophisticated time-series techniques, such as time-series regression, ARIMA modeling, and non-linear modeling including the ideodynamic model provide more persuasive evidence of longitudinal news effects on health behaviors. Such studies include correlates of health behaviors like funding for AIDS research (Rogers et al., 1991) , public opinion regarding AIDS (Fan, 1996a; Rogers et al., 1991) and illegal drugs (Fan, 1996b; Gonzenbach, 1996) , and beliefs about AIDS transmission (Hertog & Fan, 1995) . Others studies have moved into

Authors: Stryker, Jo. and Solky, Benjamin.
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background image
Skin cancer news coverage
4
mammogram screening rates increased immediately following Betty Ford and “Happy”
Rockefeller’s surgeries for breast cancer in 1974
(Fink et al., 1978)
, and that women reported
stronger intentions to get a mammogram after Nancy Reagan’s announcement that she had
breast cancer in 1987
(Stoddard, Zapka, & Schoenfeld, 1990)
. Similarly, colorectal screening
rates increased after Ronald Reagan underwent surgery to remove an intestinal tumor
(Brown
& Potosky, 1990)
. The sum of evidence suggests that a compelling event, such as a celebrity
diagnosis of cancer, can generate substantial news coverage capable of producing temporary
changes in health behavior.
The second conceptualization entails more gradual and cumulative effects of news
coverage on long-term secular trends in health behavior. Comparable to agenda-setting
research
(McCombs, 1993, 1972)
, the basic causal mechanism operating is that the quantity of
news coverage about a health behavior produces changes in population-level behavior. Trend
analyses have provided visually compelling evidence of concomitant variation between news
coverage and a variety of health behaviors including the following: discontinuance of use of
intra-uterine devices and oral contraceptives
(Jones, Beniger, & Westoff, 1980)
;
discontinuance of aspirin and other salycilates in children
(Soumerai, Ross-Degnan, & Kahn,
1992)
; and smoking cessation and initiation
(Pierce & Gilpin, 2001)
.
More sophisticated time-series techniques, such as time-series regression, ARIMA
modeling, and non-linear modeling including the ideodynamic model provide more persuasive
evidence of longitudinal news effects on health behaviors. Such studies include correlates of
health behaviors like funding for AIDS research
(Rogers et al., 1991)
, public opinion regarding
AIDS
(Fan, 1996a; Rogers et al., 1991)
and illegal drugs
(Fan, 1996b; Gonzenbach, 1996)
,
and beliefs about AIDS transmission
(Hertog & Fan, 1995)
. Others studies have moved into


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