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NAQC Newsroom: Research

The Effects of Framed Messages for Engaging Adolescents with Online Smoking Prevention Interventions

Friday, April 14, 2017  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Mays D, Hawkins KB, Bredfeldt C, Wolf H, Tercyak KP.
The Effects of Framed Messages for Engaging Adolescents with Online Smoking Prevention Interventions.
Transl Behav Med. 2017 Mar 13. doi: 10.1007/s13142-017-0481-5. [Epub ahead of print]
Messages emphasizing the harms of smoking (loss-framed) or the benefits of not smoking (gain-framed) may be effective for engaging adolescents with tobacco prevention resources. This novel approach could help to close a gap in tobacco prevention intervention delivery in the pediatric primary care setting. To examine the effects of framed messages for engaging adolescents with an evidence-based smoking prevention website, adolescents ages 12 to 17 presenting for primary care well-visits were recruited for a three-arm experiment. Participants completed baseline measures including demographics, smoking behavior, and smoking susceptibility and were randomized to view 1 of 3 messages introducing an evidence-based smoking prevention website: (1) gain-framed communicating the benefits of avoiding smoking, (2) loss-framed communicating the harms of smoking, or (3) neutral. Self-reported website engagement was assessed at 1-month follow-up. Participants (279) (87% of those enrolled) completed a follow-up (M age 14.9 years, 66% female, 32% non-white race, 47% non-susceptible never smokers, 53% susceptible never smokers/ever smokers). Overall, 26% of participants reported website engagement. After adjusting for baseline intentions to visit the website, engagement was significantly greater in response to the loss-framed message than the gain-framed (odds ratio [OR] 3.05, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.51, 6.15) and neutral (OR 2.31, 95% CI 1.15, 4.63) messages. The message framing effects did not differ by baseline smoking risk. Loss-framed messages emphasizing the harms of smoking may be effective for engaging adolescents with smoking prevention resources.

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