Background: The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between exposure to television news messages about cervical cancer and women's vulnerability perceptions and fear.
Methods: Five-hundred women aged 18-85 years were randomly recruited to participate in a survey-interview. A standardized questionnaire assessed risk perception, fear of cervical cancer, exposure to cervical cancer messages in television news and a number of potential confounders such as demographics and trait anxiety.
Results: Results from multinomial regression analyses showed that women who had been occasionally exposed to cervical cancer messages were two times more likely to be very afraid of getting cervical cancer. Women who had been frequently exposed were three times more likely to be very afraid and three times more likely to be extremely afraid. Women who had been regularly exposure to cervical cancer messages were also three times more likely to perceive a moderate risk and seven times more likely to perceive a large risk of being diagnosed with cervical cancer.
Conclusion: These results suggest that television news may be an effective means for health education.