The motivating impact of informing women smokers of a link between smoking and cervical cancer: the role of coherence

Health Psychol. 2004 Jul;23(4):419-24. doi: 10.1037/0278-6133.23.4.419.


This research assessed the role of having a coherent explanation of the link between smoking and cervical cancer in motivating women to stop smoking. In the 1st study, women were given a leaflet with either a detailed or a minimal explanation of the link or no leaflet. The leaflets were similarly effective at providing a coherent explanation. In a cross-sectional analysis, having a coherent explanation moderated the relationship between perceived vulnerability and intention: Higher perceived vulnerability to cervical cancer was associated with greater intention to quit smoking only amongst women with a more coherent explanation of the link between smoking and cervical cancer. This finding was replicated in a 2nd study. These results are consistent with H. Leventhal et al.'s (1997) self-regulatory model, which suggests that motivation to change behavior depends not only on perceiving a threat but also on having a coherent model linking the behavior with the threat.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Education*
  • Humans
  • Intention
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation*
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / epidemiology*