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Health Commun. 2009 Apr;24(3):259-69. doi: 10.1080/10410230902805932.

The role of risk, efficacy, and anxiety in smokers' cancer information seeking.

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Department of Communication, George Mason University , 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA.


Using the risk perception attitude (RPA) framework and the 2005 Health Information National Trends Survey data, this research investigated the role of perceived personal risk, perceived comparative risk, response efficacy, communication efficacy, and anxiety in smokers' active cancer information seeking. The RPA predictions on the interactions between perceived personal risk and the two efficacy measures were not supported. Perceived personal risk and response efficacy were associated with cancer information seeking both directly and through the mediation of anxiety. Optimistic comparative risk perceptions were associated with less anxiety and were found to moderate the relationship between perceived personal risk and cancer information seeking. Surprisingly, communication efficacy emerged as a negative predictor of cancer information seeking. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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