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Web-based communications about cervical cancer

Improving web-based communications about cervical cancer screening using graphs: an interdisciplinary approach

Yasmina Okan, Centre for Decision Research, Leeds University Business School

Project funder

This work is being funded by a Cancer Research UK Population Research Fellowship (reference C57775/A22182) awarded to Dr Yasmina Okan, Centre for Decision Research, Leeds University Business School.

Project summary

UK and EU health policy aim to promote understanding of health risks, so as to empower people to make better health choices, including through web-based communications. Websites about cancer are widespread and provide information concerning cancer risk factors, prevention strategies, and screening programmes.

Effective communications about cervical cancer screening are particularly needed, as most cervical cancer cases could be prevented through screening. However, cancer risk communications are often too difficult to interpret, even for educated audiences. The proposed work will test a low-cost strategy for improving web-based communications about cervical cancer: Adding evidence-based graphs that are easy to understand.

Specific project objectives are:

(1) Identifying women’s difficulties in interpreting currently available web- based graphs about benefits and risks of cervical cancer screening;

(2) Testing re-designed web-based graphs with women varying in graph comprehension skills;

(3) Testing the effectiveness of a web-based communication over time including the most promising re-designed graphs to improve understanding of benefits and risks, and promote informed screening uptake.

Resulting graph design guidelines will be theoretically relevant, by indicating what works and why, and practically relevant for practitioners and health communicators who aim to improve people’s understanding about cancer screening and empower them to make informed choices.

Core project members:


Project data:

Researchers interested in accessing data arising from this project may contact Dr. Yasmina Okan to request access to the datasets (please see contact details provided below). As a general rule, data will be made available following the acceptance for publication of the main findings from each final dataset.


Dr Yasmina Okan
Cancer Research UK Fellow
Lecturer in Behavioral Decision Making
Centre for Decision Research
Leeds University Business School (Office 1.21 Maurice Keyworth)
Leeds, LS2 9JT
United Kingdom

Phone: +44 (0)113 343 2622