ETHNIC DIFFERENCES IN MEDIA RESPONSE & RECRUITMENT
Ethnic diversity in recruitment is a vital prerequisite to eliminating the health disparity in cancer control trials
and health promotion programs. Although recruitment campaigns are sometimes guided by learning
models, little attention is paid to a critical requirement: how to reach key target audiences with persuasive
messages and hold their attention long enough for the messages to be processed. Little scientific rigor has
been applied to the study of methods to increase information seeking and to improve the recruitment of
minorities into cancer control or treatment trials. Even the most innovative research is stymied by the lack
of representative samples of the population the research is designed to serve. The goals of this study are:
1) to develop and prospectively test, theory-driven, ethnically appropriate health-related messages to
promote information seeking and recruitment; 2) to test methods for marketing/communication of the
messages and; 3) to assess differences in response (in terms of information seeking and recruitment),
between African American (AA) and Caucasian males into a prostate cancer control program. To
accomplish these goals, direct response radio (DRR) and direct response newspaper (DRN), guided by a
framework that includes Social Marketing, will be tested as methods to improve information seeking and
recruitment. Our preliminary data has shown a differential response by ethnicity (AA and Caucasian) to
DRR and DRN information seeking and recruitment. It is our hypotheses that, guided by our integrated
Marketing and Cognitive-Affective conceptual framework, and our pilot work: 1) AA men will be more
responsive to a DRR campaign than Caucasian men, 2) Caucasian men will be more responsive to a DRN
campaign than AA men, 3) DRR will be more cost-effective for the recruitment of AA men than for
Caucasian men, and 4) specific cognitive-affective factors will be associated with response. The
significance of this work would be the advancement of knowledge of risk communications research via the
study of a theory-driven process that may improve information seeking and recruitment of AA men to
cancer control protocols. It would also serve as a potential model for improved information seeking and
recruitment of AA men to be tested in other cancer control and treatment trials and potentially as a model
for other minorities.
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