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Smoking or non-smoking? Effects of an educational intervention on decreasing lung cancer stigma

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Description: Stigmatization has the potential to greatly impact lung cancer patients' quality of life. Using the Measure of Disease-Related Stigma (MDRS), 146 participants were asked to rate a hypothetical lung cancer patient, whose ability to control his illness varied. A main effect for controllability was found, suggesting that lung cancer patients who are smokers are the most stigmatized when compared to non-smokers and those of unknown smoking status. Unlike previous studies, targets with unknown smoking status were rated similarly to targets who were non-smokers. An educational intervention designed to increase knowledge of alternative explanations for lung cancer causation was tested. Participants were tested on material presented to them in the educational intervention (Lung Cancer Quiz; LCQ), and results from an ANOVA on the LCQ scores support the premise that participants in both the intervention group were able to access alternative explanations for lung cancer causation. However, the intervention did not yield significant results for cognitive attributions and emotional reactions of disease stigma; behavioral intentions of personal help were negatively impacted by the intervention. Null and unexpected findings are discussed, as well as potential starting points for intervention optimization.
Language: English
Format: Degree Work