Extended parallel process model (EPPM) in evaluating lung Cancer risk perception among older smokers


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Background There is a lack of scientific literature on the application of fear appeals theories to evaluate lung cancer risk perception among smokers. The aim of the present study is to apply the Extended Parallel Process Model (EPPM) to discover the perception of the smokers about their lifetime risk of developing lung cancer (perceived susceptibility), their perception of lung cancer survival (perceived severity), response efficacy, self-efficacy, and readiness to quit.

            In this cross-sectional study, 215 eligible smokers (aged 45 years and over who have smoked at least 1 pack per day in the last 5 years) were recruited. The data collection tool was designed using validate self-report questionnaires and it was contained items on the perceived risk of a smoker contracting lung cancer and perceived lung cancer survival rate. It also had questions to measure the main constructs of the EPPM and Readiness to quit (“Low_Readiness”, and “High_Readiness”). To test how the data support conceptual EPPM to data, Generalized Structural Equation Modeling (GSEM) was used.

            Findings showed a significant relationship between Perceived_Susceptibility and Perceived_Response Efficacy; (B = 1.16, P < 0.001); between Perceived_Susceptibility and Perceived_Self Efficacy, (B = -0.93, P < 0.001), Perceived_Severity, and Perceived_Response Efficacy (B = 1.07, P < 0.001). There was also a significant relationship between Perceived_Threat and Perceived_Response Efficacy; between Perceived_Threat and Perceived_Self Efficacy. The relationship between High_Readiness and Perceived_Self Efficacy, and between High_Readiness and Perceived_Severity also were significant. However, the relationships between High_Readiness and Perceived_Threat were not significant (P > 0.05).

            Perceived_threat and Perceived_efficacy were important for smokers with low readiness to quit, while Perceived_efficacy was most important for smokers with high readiness to quit. These findings could be used in promoting lung cancer awareness and designing smoking cessation programs based on smokers’ stages of change.




BMC Public Health. 2021 Oct 17;21(1):1872