BACKGROUND: Oral and pharyngeal cancer is a serious health threat that goes unnoticed by most people. Increasing screenings for oral and pharyngeal cancer is essential to achieving early detection when the disease is most treatable.
PURPOSE: We tested the effectiveness of a media campaign designed to increase intentions to seek an oral and pharyngeal cancer screening. We further examined whether concern and knowledge of oral and pharyngeal cancer mediated screening intentions.
METHODS: Participants in the intervention condition received messages on posters, handheld fans, pamphlets, and magnets displayed on the sides of cars or trucks. Participants in the intervention and comparison conditions (N = 1,790) were surveyed prior to and after the intervention.
RESULTS: Intervention participants reported greater intentions to seek free oral and pharyngeal cancer screenings. Concern about oral and pharyngeal cancer partially mediated the effect whereas knowledge did not.
CONCLUSIONS: Our media campaign successfully increased screening intentions by heightening concerns.