BEHAVIOUR CHANGE COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES AND MEN’S RESPONSE TO PROSTRATE CANCER SCREENING IN CENTRAL KENYA
NDUNG’U, SAMUEL KAHURA
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Effective communication has been proven to influence people’s attitude and approach towards an issue that affects them. The use of Behaviour Change Communication (BCC) has been recommended as one of the strategies that can help create awareness of Prostate Cancer (PCa) and encourage its early screening and treatment. However, there is little evidence that this strategy has been used in Central Kenya region to address the PCa problem. The main objective of this study therefore was to investigate the influence of BCC strategies on men’s response to PCa screening in Central Kenya. Specifically, the study aimed to: investigate the influence of interpersonal communication on men’s response to PCa screening in Central Kenya, determine the influence of message framing on men’s response to PCa screening, examine the influence of mass media campaigns on men’s response to PCa screening and to identify the influence of participatory communication on men’s response to PCa screening. The study further sought to determine the moderating influence of culture and gender on men’s response to PCa screening. The study was guided by Cognitive Dissonance Theory, Theory of Reasoned Action and Health Belief Model. It was anchored on the Pragmatist philosophical paradigm and it used the Exploratory Sequential Mixed Method design. The target population of the study was 700,010 men aged 40 years old and above from Central Kenya. A sample of 384 men was selected using the Finite Population Correction for Proportions (n0) formula by Kothari. Quantitative data was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire while qualitative data was collected using interviews and focus group discussions. Qualitative data was analysed thematically and presented in both non-linear and narrative forms. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse quantitative data to show the relationship between variables and their significance. The findings indicated that interpersonal and participatory communication, message framing and mass media campaigns have a statistical significant influence on men’s response to PCa screening. The values for each objective were: Mass Media, R2=0.654, p-value=0.000<0.05, Message Framing, R2=0.644, p-value=0.000<0.05, Participatory Communication, R2=0.714, p-value=0.000<0.05, and Interpersonal Communication, R2=0.605, p-value=0.000<0.05. It was further established that culture has a statistical significant moderating influence on men’s attitude to PCa screening, it had R2=0.572, p-value=0.000<0.05. The study concludes that although mass media was used to disseminate information about PCa, it was not adequate and the PCa messages were poorly framed and ineffective. The study therefore recommends the use of participatory and interpersonal communication to equip community and health workers, and peer counsellors with basic education on PCa and communication skills to supplement efforts by health and communication officials. There is also need for use of intensive mass media campaigns and correct message framing for effective PCa screening awareness.