Framing of Health Information Messages
Description of Resource:
The same information about health effects can be framed either in positive words or in negative words. Attribute framing is the positive versus negative description of a specific attribute, for example, "the chance of survival with cancer is 2 out of 3" versus "the chance of mortality with cancer is 1 out of 3.” Goal framing is the description of the consequences an act as a gain or a loss, for example, "if you get a screening test for cancer, your survival will be prolonged" versus "if you don't get a screening test for cancer, your survival will be shortened.” There is a widely held belief that framing of health information messages can lead to different decisions and different health behaviors; this is described as the “framing effect.” This systematic review identified 35 studies of 16,342 people testing this hypothesis. It found that both attribute and goal framing may have little if any effect on health consumers' behavior.