Publication Abstract

Authors: Gibson L, Tan AS, Freres D, Lewis N, Martinez L, Hornik RC

Title: Nonmedical information seeking amid conflicting health information: negative and positive effects on prostate cancer screening.

Journal: Health Commun 31(4):417-24

Date: 2016

Abstract: This study investigates the impact of seeking information about the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test on men's PSA test use during a period of conflicting recommendations. Analyses used longitudinal survey data collected in 2005 and 2006 from a nationally representative sample of U.S. males aged 40-70 years (n = 777). Cross-sectionally, nonmedical information seeking was significantly associated with increased odds of having a PSA test in the past year (Time 1 odds ratio [OR] = 9.74, p < .01, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 4.37, 21.70; Time 2 OR = 5.78, p < .01, 95% CI = 3.17, 10.55). However, lagged analyses showed that among men who had a PSA at Time 1, active seeking is associated with reduced odds of later having a PSA test (OR = 0.33, p < .05, 95% CI = 0.13, 0.85). Participants who had not had a PSA test in the past year very rarely sought information about PSA tests. Information acquisition in an environment of conflicting recommendations may influence adoption of cancer screening behaviors.