The overall goal of this career award proposal is to enable Dr. Wang to become an independent investigator n the design of interventions to communicate messages about genetic and environmental risk, with a focus on colorectal cancer. The effective communication of genetic and environmental risk factor information has grown increasingly important as advances in genetic technology continue to shed new light on their contributions to colorectal cancer risk. To date, little is known about how best to communicate risk factor information to increase behavioral motivation, thus limiting the application of these new technologies for public health benefit. The impact of communication about cancer risk factors depends, in part, on the prior beliefs and cognitive representations held about the disease feedback being conveyed. In particular, causal attributions - the beliefs people have about the causes of colorectal cancer - are an important, but understudied, determinant of whether and to what extent individuals take behavioral action to reduce the likelihood of developing the disease. A better understanding of causal attributions for colorectal cancer among the general population is essential in order to systematically and comprehensively delineate how people think about the causes of cancer, and identify those attributions that facilitate, or undermine, screening adherence and lifestyle change. Using a combination of survey and experimental research methodologies, two studies are being proposed that build on each other in logical sequence to 1) describe the nature of causal attributions for colorectal cancer and their association with screening and lifestyle behaviors, and 2) begin to experimentally test the impact of genetic and environmentally-focused risk communication messages on patterns of causal attributions and health behaviors among unaffected individuals. The training plan proposed supports this research by providing the necessary advanced mentoring and coursework in communication science, psychometric methods, intervention strategies, and advanced statistics. This will enable the PI to effectively conduct the studies and prepare her for an R01 submission in year 5, building on the findings obtained to create more refined messages for colorectal screening and prevention. This synergistic program of training and research will be essential to understanding how individuals respond to risk communication messages for colorectal cancer, as well as other cancer sites. Perhaps most importantly, the knowledge gained from these studies will be critical to inform the development and evaluation of theory-guided tailored interventions that focus on conveying genetic and/or environmental risk information to the general population in efforts to promote behavior change and, ultimately, public health benefits.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Type
Academic/Teacher Award (ATA) (K07)
Project #
5K07CA131103-05
Application #
8324677
Study Section
Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
Program Officer
Perkins, Susan N
Project Start
2008-09-01
Project End
2014-08-31
Budget Start
2012-09-01
Budget End
2014-08-31
Support Year
5
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$135,027
Indirect Cost
$10,002
Name
Boston University
Department
Social Sciences
Type
Schools of Public Health
DUNS #
604483045
City
Boston
State
MA
Country
United States
Zip Code
02118
Juthe, Robin H; Zaharchuk, Amber; Wang, Catharine (2015) Celebrity disclosures and information seeking: the case of Angelina Jolie. Genet Med 17:545-53
Wang, Catharine; Gordon, Erynn S; Stack, Catharine B et al. (2014) A randomized trial of the clinical utility of genetic testing for obesity: design and implementation considerations. Clin Trials 11:102-13
Dorman, Janice S; Valdez, Rodolfo; Liu, Tiebin et al. (2012) Health beliefs among individuals at increased familial risk for type 2 diabetes: implications for prevention. Diabetes Res Clin Pract 96:156-62
Vig, Hetal S; Wang, Catharine (2012) The evolution of personalized cancer genetic counseling in the era of personalized medicine. Fam Cancer :
Rubinstein, Wendy S; Acheson, Louise S; O'Neill, Suzanne M et al. (2011) Clinical utility of family history for cancer screening and referral in primary care: a report from the Family Healthware Impact Trial. Genet Med 13:956-65
Wang, C; Gallo, R E; Fleisher, L et al. (2011) Literacy assessment of family health history tools for public health prevention. Public Health Genomics 14:222-37
Wang, Catharine; Coups, Elliot J (2010) Causal beliefs about obesity and associated health behaviors: results from a population-based survey. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 7:19
Wang, Catharine; Miller, Suzanne M; Egleston, Brian L et al. (2010) Beliefs about the causes of breast and colorectal cancer among women in the general population. Cancer Causes Control 21:99-107
Acheson, Louise S; Wang, Catharine; Zyzanski, Stephen J et al. (2010) Family history and perceptions about risk and prevention for chronic diseases in primary care: a report from the family healthware impact trial. Genet Med 12:212-8
Kiviniemi, Marc T; Hay, Jennifer L; James, Aimee S et al. (2009) Decision making about cancer screening: an assessment of the state of the science and a suggested research agenda from the ASPO Behavioral Oncology and Cancer Communication Special Interest Group. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 18:3133-7

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