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Overview of the program
This program is aimed at removing those barriers that prevent many women from undergoing mammography screening which is critical for proper treating of breast cancer. Additionally, it is necessary to develop methods of motivating women, who have reached the age of 50, to undergo mammography on a regular basis (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2002). In the course of this program, a set of interventions have been developed; in particular, healthcare professionals focused on the benefits that telephone counseling could bring. These interventions can benefit women, exposed to the risk of breast cancer, especially those ones who do not undergo screening regularly.
Evidence of success
There is an empirical study which can confirm the efficiency of this program. In particular, one can speak about the research carried out by Stoddard et al. (2002). According to this study, telephone counseling was slightly more effective than traditional written reminders (Stoddard et al. 2002). Therefore, this practice can be adopted by medical workers who should ensure that women aged above 50 regularly undergo mammography screening.
This is one of the aspects that can be identified. However, the researchers also note that some modifications should be made to telephone counseling in order to increase women’s motivation not to neglect breast cancer screening. This limitation should also be taken into account. One should note that this question attracts the attention of many researchers. For instance, Alfred Chang et al. (2007) note that telephone counseling is more efficient that written reminders. Thus, the benefits of this program are supported by empirical evidence. This is one of the key issues that should be considered.
The implementation of this program was based on the so-called Stages of Change Model (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2002). According to this model, the transformation of a person’s behavior includes such stages as pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance (Ogden, 2012, p. 44). This model implies that it is first necessary to change the attitudes of a person and convince him/her that a certain action should be performed on a regular basis. In their turn, medical workers should focus on those women who do not regularly undergo mammography screening.
They should clearly communicate why this behavior can be detrimental. The main problem is that the organizers of this problem do not clearly show Stages of Change Model was applied. In particular, they do not show how medical workers could prompt women to reach different stages of change. Additionally, they do not provide evidence which can prove that some women did move from one stage to another. This is one of the short-comings that can be singled out, and this particular model may not be fully appropriate in this context. In turn, one can say that Health Belief Model can also be relevant to this case. This model implies that health behavior of a person depends on his/her views about the severity of disease and the perceived benefits of undergoing mammography screening or any other medical procedure (Harari & Legge, 2001, p. 13).
This approach might have been more suitable for persuading women to undergo mammography regularly. It should be noted that during the telephone conversation, medical workers specifically focused on the risks of neglecting mammography testing (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2002). This is one of the approaches that are closely related to Health Belief Model according to which the perception of risk is an important motivational factor. Therefore, this model may be more relevant to this intervention.
The organizers of this program do not clearly identify the methodological approach underlying this program. However, one can conjecture that the principles of social marketing have been used to carry out this intervention. This method is derived from the methods used by companies in effort to persuade customers to buy their products or services (Nyce, 2009, p. 125). This approach is based on several premises. At first, it is necessary to identify a target audience (Nyce, 2009, p. 125).
In this case, one should speak about women, aged above 50 since they are more vulnerable to the risks of breast cancer. Much attention should be paid to those patients who tend to overlook mammography screening. Furthermore, it is necessary to identify the target behavior. The goal of this behavior is to make sure that women do not forget about testing that can eventually protect them against the risks of a very dangerous disease.
Additionally, medical workers should demonstrate that the value of undergoing mammography screening justifies the costs of this activity. In this context, the word cost is reference to those problems that women can encounter. For example, one can speak about the feeling of anxiety or the need to find time for this medical procedure. Moreover, healthcare professionals should demonstrate why women should not turn a blind eye to the necessity of breast cancer screening. This is why the use of telephone counseling plays an important role in this program. Thus, one can argue that the use of social marketing can be quite applicable to this intervention and the way in which it was implemented by medical workers. These are the main points that can be made.
Overall, this information can be used for the evaluation of this program and its efficiency. One should mention that researchers pay close attention to the methods that can make people more motivated to undergo cancer screening (Chang et al. 2007). For instance, Alfred Chang et al. (2007) note that telephone calls can indeed increase the willingness of women to undergo breast cancer screening (p. 334).
Therefore, one can say that the proposed intervention can be regarded as a model practice that healthcare workers can adopt. Nevertheless, there are some limitations that should be taken into account. First, the organization that has implemented this program does not provide the information about the message that medical workers tried to community. Moreover, there is no clear explanation that can show how the behavior of women could be transformed. Still, despite these limitations, one can say that the use of telephone counseling can bring considerable benefits to medical workers and patients.
It should be noted that this program is premised on the idea that the prevention of a disease is critical for minimizing its impact on the health of a person. This argument is particularly relevant if one speaks about breast cancer. In turn, the strategies developed during this program can make women more aware about the benefits of mammography screening as well as the risks of neglecting it. These are the main details that can be distinguished.
Chang, A., Ganz, P., Hayes, D., Kinsella, T., & Pass, H. (2007). Oncology: An Evidence-Based Approach. New York, NY: Springer. Web.
Harari, P., Legge, K. (2001). Psychology and Health. New York, NY: Heinemann. Web.
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Nyce, J. (2009). Social Sources of Disparities in Health and Health Care and Linkages to Policy, Population Concerns and Providers of Care. Boston, MA: Emerald Group Publishing. Web.
Ogden, J. (2012). Health Psychology: A Textbook: A textbook. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill International. Web.
Public Health Agency of Canada. (2002). Breast Cancer Screening Among Non-adherent Women. Web.
Stoddard, A., Fox, S., Costanza, M., Lane, D., & Andersen, M. (2002). Effectivenessof telephone counseling for mammography: results from five randomized trials. Preventive Medicine 34(1), 90-99. Web.