The Relative Importance of Motives for Having a Medical Screening

Principal Investigator


Preventative medical procedures such as colonoscopies are widely recognized as effective means for early cancer detection. Yet, despite the importance of medical screens, there has been very limited effort to explore what motivates patients to be screened or to refuse the screening procedure. Yet efforts to encourage medical screens are unlikely to be effective unless they appeal to relevant motives.
Recently, behavioral economists have successfully conducted experiments and surveys measuring the relative importance of motives over a wide range of activities including recycling, voting, commodity purchases, and loyalty to employers. The procedures can be applied to medical screening motives. With the outcome of this project, the medical profession will be in a much stronger position to appeal to relevant motives when encouraging patient to participate in medical screens.
Preliminary meetings of medical and behavioral professionals will meet and review survey instruments and their administration. In person surveys will be administered at relevant locations and by skilled survey staff. Online surveys will be administered so that respondents from a wide range of backgrounds can be surveyed. The data will be collected and analyzed by skilled statistical technicians at Michigan State University. Summarizing and writing reports and presenting the results and important venues will continue following the completion of the survey and data testing.

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