196863 Appealing to Males At-Risk for Testicular Cancer: Defining a ‘Control Identity' Typology and Modeling Perceptions of Testicular Self-Examination (TSE)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 2:45 PM

Michael J. Rovito, PhD , Department of Public Health, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Thomas F. Gordon, PhD , Department of Public Health, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Sarah Bauerle Bass, PhD, MPH , Department of Public Health, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Joseph DuCette, PhD , Educational Psychology, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Testicular cancer rates are rising among 15-54 year old men with the majority of those cases affecting males under the age of 35. Regular screening techniques for the disease, most notably testicular self-examination (TSE), are rarely performed among surveyed males. If testicular cancer is caught in its early stages, the survival rate is approximately 95%; however, if diagnosed in later stages, survival rates drop below 50%. The lack of published psychosocial behavioral research in this area has contributed to a general misunderstanding by men of the disease and its preventative/screening measures. If continued, this lack of screening for testicular cancer can only lead to increasing incidence and mortality rates.

This research defines a ‘Control Identity' typology based on the constructs of “realistic vs. unrealistic control” and “internal vs. external locus of control”, and then systematically verifies these types from a performed cluster analysis on cross-sectional survey data. Given the Control Identity types, perceptual mapping techniques are applied to model how each type of respondent perceives testicular self-examination. These mental models are then used to create message strategies tailored for each ‘Control Identity' type.

Existing research indicates that tailored messaging strategies are the most predictive in altering health behaviors among study participants. Although this study presents a unique methodology for use in behavioral interventions designed to promote TSE among men,- the unique combination of methodologies and the Control Identity typology could be applied to the development of intervention strategies across a wide variety of health issues.

Learning Objectives:
Define Control Identities and discuss their application in tailored-message design and health communication theory. Offer a unique methodology for cancer prevention messaging strategies. Present the applicability of perceptual mapping in designing tailored message strategies.

Keywords: Cancer Screening, Communication Technology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have successfully presented at a number of previous conferences and have a unique ability to connect with the audience by communicating the information in an interesting and engaging manner. Further, I have successfully design and implemented the reported study. My PhD training at Temple University provided me the opportunity to dutifully conduct sound scientific research and present the information in a coherent and effective manner.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.