Mass media campaign improves cervical screening across all socio-economic groups

Jenny O. Anderson, Robyn M. Mullins, Mohammad Siahpush, Matthew J. Spittal, Melanie Wakefield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Low socio-economic status (SES) has been associated with lower cervical screening rates. Mass media is one known strategy that can increase cervical screening participation. This study sought to determine whether a mass media campaign conducted in Victoria, Australia, in 2005 was effective in encouraging women across all SES groups to screen. Data were obtained from the Victorian Cervical Cytology Registry for each Pap test registered during 2005 and categorized into SES quintiles using the Index of Socio-Economic Advantage/Disadvantage. Negative binomial regression was used to determine the impact of the campaign on the weekly number of Pap tests and whether the media campaign had a differential effect by SES, after adjusting for the number of workdays per week, age group and time since previous test. Cervical screening increased 27% during the campaign period and was equally effective in encouraging screening across all SES groups, including low-SES women. Mass media campaigns can prompt increased rates of cervical screening among all women, not just those from more advantaged areas. Combining media with additional strategies targeted at low-SES women may help lessen the underlying differences in screening rates across SES.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)867-875
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Education Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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