Persuading physicians to test their patients' level of kidney functioning: The effects of message frame and point of view

Anthony Roberto, Catherine E. Goodall, Patricia M. West, John D. Mahan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


A two-part field experiment was conducted to determine the effects of message frame (gain vs. loss) and point of view (personal vs. impersonal) on physicians' intentions and behavior to test their patients' level of kidney functioning. One hundred and fifty-one physicians returned a survey that accompanied one of four different experimental cover letters or a generic control letter. One hundred and twelve (74%) of these physicians also completed and returned a follow-up survey sent approximately 4 months later. Physicians who received a letter (vs. the generic-letter control group) believed their patients were more susceptible to kidney disease, believed that kidney disease had more severe consequences, and also demonstrated greater intentions and behavior to test their patients' level of kidney functioning. Additionally, there was a significant frame by point of view interaction effect, in that physicians receiving the gain-framed personal letter or the loss-framed impersonal letter demonstrated greater intentions and behavior than physicians receiving other versions of the letter. These results extend the theoretical scope of the EPPM by suggesting that threat to other can motivate behavior change, and also can have significant practical application for the development of messages targeting physicians.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-118
Number of pages12
JournalHealth Communication
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication

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