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The Influence of Self-efficacy in Medical Drama Television Programming on Behaviors and Emotions that Promote Cervical Cancer Prevention

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Objectives: We explored the influences of medical drama viewing on health behaviors and emotions, and examined the role of self-efficacy in medical drama programming. Methods: A single-factor, 2-condition experimental design that manipulated self-efficacy levels was adopted. A total of 131 female undergraduate students who were likely involved with the issues of HPV vaccination and cervical cancer participated in this experiment. Results: In line with social cognitive theory, the results indicated that participants in the high self-efficacy condition showed greater behavioral intention to receive a Pap smear (F (1, 126) = 4.38, p < .05, partial η2 = .03) and the HPV vaccine (F (1, 35) = 4.82, p < .05, partial η2 = .12) and higher levels of hope (F (1, 126) = 12.22, p < .01, partial η2 = .09) than participants in the low self-efficacy condition. In addition, hope mediated the relationship between self-efficacy condition and behavioral intention to receive a Pap smear (B = .16, SE = .08, 95% CI = [.04, .38]). Conclusions: Findings suggest that inclusion of self-efficacy information in entertainment programming may lead to beneficial health outcomes. Medical drama programming may act as an effective outlet to affect health behaviors and emotions of the larger public, ultimately enhancing public health.
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Keywords: CERVICAL CANCER SCREENING; HOPE; HPV VACCINE; MEDICAL DRAMA PROGRAMMING; SELF-EFFICACY

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Doctoral student, Department of Advertising and Public Relations, Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia, Athens, GA;, Email: [email protected] 2: Assistant Professor, The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, Washington State University, Pullman, WA

Publication date: November 1, 2017

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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