Using message framing to motivate HIV testing among low-income, ethnic minority women

Health Psychol. 2003 Jan;22(1):60-7. doi: 10.1037//0278-6133.22.1.60.


This study compared the effectiveness of 4 videotaped educational programs designed to motivate HIV testing among low-income, ethnic minority women. Four hundred eighty women were assigned randomly to watch one of 2 gain-framed or 2 loss-framed videos. Consistent with prospect theory, participants' perceptions of the certainty of the outcome of an HIV test moderated the effects of framing on self-reported testing behavior 6 months after video exposure. Among participants who reported being certain of the test's outcome, those who saw a gain-framed video reported a higher rate of testing than those who saw a loss-framed message. Among women who perceived the outcome of HIV testing as relatively uncertain, gain- and loss-framed videos led to similar rates of self-reported testing, with some advantage for the loss-framed message.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Evaluation Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Communication*
  • Cultural Characteristics
  • Ethnicity*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • HIV Infections / ethnology*
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation*
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Poverty*
  • Prognosis
  • Video Recording
  • Women's Health