Readability, Suitability and Health Content Assessment of Cancer Screening Announcements in Municipal Newspapers in Japan


Background: The objective of this study was to assess the readability, suitability, and health content of cancerscreening information in municipal newspapers in Japan. Materials and
Methods: Suitability Assessment ofMaterials (SAM) and the framework of Health Belief Model (HBM) were used for assessment of municipalnewspapers that were published in central Tokyo (23 wards) from January to December 2013.
Results: The meandomain SAM scores of content, literacy demand, and layout/typography were considered superior. The SAMscores of interaction with readers, an indication of the models of desirable actions, and elaboration to enhancereaders’ self-efficacy were low. According to the HBM coding, messages of medical/clinical severity, of socialseverity, of social benefits, and of barriers of fear were scarce.
Conclusions: The articles were generally wellwritten and suitable. However, learning stimulation/motivation was scarce and the HBM constructs were notfully addressed. Practice implications: Articles can be improved to motivate readers to obtain cancer screeningby increasing interaction with readers, introducing models of desirable actions and devices to raise readers’self-efficacy, and providing statements of perceived barriers of fear for pain and time constraints, perceivedseverity, and social benefits and losses.