Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Jones, SC and Iverson, DC, Increasing the efficacy of breast cancer risk communications: contributiolns from behavioural science and marketing, in Rentschler, R and Hall, J, Proceedings of At the Threshold: 2nd Australasian Nonprofit and Social Marketing Conference, Deakin University, 22-23 September 2005.


Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in Australia. Women are faced with numerous decisions in relation to breast cancer including: actions they can take to reduce their risk of developing breast cancer; whether to participate in screening programs; and selection of the most appropriate treatment option if diagnosed with breast cancer. This paper discusses ways in which theories and findings from two disciplines, behavioural science and marketing, can be used collaboratively to design effective communications to increase the uptake of health behaviours that have the potential of reducing morbidity and mortality from breast cancer. From marketing we borrow the concepts of audience segmentation, media selection, and mass communication message design. From behavioural science we import the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) as a framework for intervening, and dependent variables to guide the strategy for measuring message effects. From related work in individual cognitive and affective psychology we utilise recent findings on the processing of propositional arguments when designing the risk messages.