Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 68–73

Average Household Exposure to Newspaper Coverage about the Harmful Effects of Hormone Therapy and Population-Based Declines in Hormone Therapy Use

  • Jennifer S. Haas
  • Diana L. Miglioretti
  • Berta Geller
  • Diana S. M. Buist
  • David E. Nelson
  • Karla Kerlikowske
  • Patricia A. Carney
  • Sarah Dash
  • Erica S. Breslau
  • Rachel Ballard-Barbash
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11606-007-0122-7

Cite this article as:
Haas, J.S., Miglioretti, D.L., Geller, B. et al. J GEN INTERN MED (2007) 22: 68. doi:10.1007/s11606-007-0122-7

Background

The news media facilitated the rapid dissemination of the findings from the estrogen plus progestin therapy arm of the Women’s Health Initiative (EPT-WHI).

Objective

To examine the relationship between the potential exposure to newspaper coverage and subsequent hormone therapy (HT) use.

Design/Population

Population-based cohort of women receiving mammography at 7 sites (327,144 postmenopausal women).

Measurements

The outcome was the monthly prevalence of self-reported HT use. Circulation data for local, regional, and national newspapers was used to create zip-code level measures of the estimated average household exposure to newspaper coverage that reported the harmful effects of HT in July 2002.

Results

Women had an average potential household exposure of 1.4 articles. There was substantial variation in the level of average household exposure to newspaper coverage; women from rural sites received less than women from urban sites. Use of HT declined for all average potential exposure groups after the publication of the EPT-WHI. HT prevalence among women who lived in areas where there was an average household exposure of at least 3 articles declined significantly more (45 to 27%) compared to women who lived in areas with <1 article (43 to 31%) during each of the subsequent 5 months (relative risks 0.86–0.92; p < .006 for all).

Conclusions

Greater average household exposure to newspaper coverage about the harms associated with HT was associated with a large population-based decline in HT use. Further studies should examine whether media coverage directly influences the health behavior of individual women.

Key words

newspaper coverage women mammography hormone therapy health behavior 

Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer S. Haas
    • 1
  • Diana L. Miglioretti
    • 2
  • Berta Geller
    • 3
  • Diana S. M. Buist
    • 2
  • David E. Nelson
    • 4
  • Karla Kerlikowske
    • 5
    • 6
  • Patricia A. Carney
    • 7
    • 8
  • Sarah Dash
    • 9
  • Erica S. Breslau
    • 10
  • Rachel Ballard-Barbash
    • 9
  1. 1.Division of General Medicine and Primary Care, Department of MedicineBrigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Center for Health StudiesGroup Health CooperativeSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Office of Health Promotion Research, Departments of Family Medicine and RadiologyVermont Cancer Center, University of VermontBurlingtonUSA
  4. 4.Health Communications Branch, Office on Smoking and HealthCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  5. 5.Departments of Medicine and Epidemiology and BiostatisticsUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA
  6. 6.General Internal Medicine Section, Department of Veterans AffairsUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA
  7. 7.Department of Family MedicineOregon Health and Science UniversityPortlandUSA
  8. 8.Department of Community & Family MedicineDartmouth Medical SchoolHanoverUSA
  9. 9.Applied Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population SciencesNational Cancer InstituteBethesdaUSA
  10. 10.Behavioral Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population SciencesNational Cancer InstituteBethesdaUSA

Personalised recommendations