Designing Tailored Messages About Smoking and Breast Cancer: A Focus Group Study With Youth

Joan L. Bottorff, Rebecca Haines-Saah, John L. Oliffe, Laura L. Struik, Laura J. L. Bissell, Chris P. Richardson, Carolyn Gotay, Kenneth C. Johnson, Peter Hutchinson


The purpose of this study was to design an approach to supporting the development of gender- and Aboriginal-specific messages regarding the link between tobacco exposure and breast cancer, drawing on youth perspectives. Focus groups were held with 18 girls (8 First Nations and Métis) and 25 boys (12 First Nations and Métis) to solicit advice in the design of messages. Transcribed data were analyzed for themes. Girls preferred messages that included the use of novel images, a personal story of breast cancer, and ways to avoid second-hand smoke. Boys endorsed messages that were "catchy" but not "cheesy" and had masculine themes. First Nations and Métis participants confirmed the use of Aboriginal symbols in messages as signalling their relevance to youth in their communities. The results can be used as a guide in developing tailored health promotion messages. Challenges in developing gender-appropriate messages for youth are described.

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