The Effects of a State-Wide Media Campaign on Mammography Screening1


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    Thanks to Ann Branstetter, Desiree Larson, Diana Peterson, Patty Reid, Dawn Schroeder, Rich Rathge, and Janelle Johnson for their work on the Breast Cancer Screening Campaign. This work was presented at the Midwestern Psychological Association meeting, Chicago, Illinois, May 1996. The research was supported by the National Cancer Institute (CA58659).

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Kevin D. McCaul, Department of Psychology, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58105. e-mail:


A media campaign was constructed to promote mammography screening in North Dakota. The media included radio and newspaper advertisements that emphasized personal vulnerability to breast cancer. Persons in northern North Dakota were exposed to the ads; persons in southern North Dakota were not. Surveys conducted after the campaign showed that intervention women were aware of the ads. A state-wide longitudinal survey (N= 383) also suggested that the campaign may have influenced women who had been screened previously to have a repeat screening. However, the ads may have adversely affected those women who had never been screened. We discuss comparisons between media attempts and other strategies that can potentially influence health behavior in rural areas.