The Protection Motivation Theory (PMT)

Respond to at least one peer by supporting agreement or polite disagreement and adding additional information and ideas to further the discussion.( write me up a paragraph responding to this post below ).

The Protection Motivation Theory (PMT) is a theory that uses the emotion of fear in health communication (Hayden, 2019, p. 143).  The theory has two constructs: threat appraisal and coping appraisal (Hayden, 2019, p. 146).  This discussion focuses on how using the PMT impacts skin cancer and how it can be used to create skin cancer prevention programs.

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How Farmers Perceive Skin Cancer

 In the study done, the rural farmers scored low when reporting using skin cancer preventative behaviors (SCPB), with only 22% reporting that the practice SCPBs (Babazadeh et al., 2016).  The study also found that farmers do no perceive skin cancer to be a threat to them, with 88.2% and 94.1% of the participants responding that they disagreed/totally disagreed that they are susceptible to skin cancer because of their job and that skin cancer could make their face ugly and scary (Babazadeh et al., 2016).  It was found that if farmers perceive themselves to be vulnerable to skin cancer and if there are rewards to using SCPBs, then the farmer will use SCPBs (Babazadeh et al., 2016).  The participants of the study are vulnerable because the least reported behaviors were “avoiding the sun at middays” and “applying sunscreen (Babazadeh et al., 2016).”  The farmers actually found rewards for not using SCPBS, for example, not using brimmed hats means they can concentrate better on their work (Babazadeh et al., 2016).

 Farmers’ Coping Appraisal 

 Coping appraisal is “how the recommended action is assessed in terms of effectiveness, personal ability to carry out the action, and cost (Hayden, 2019, p. 148).  Some of the farmers in the study had worries of cost of sunscreen and hats, how hats could decrease their concentration, the belief that sunscreen doesn’t affect skin cancer, and that their family members would mock them for using SCPBs (Babazadeh et al., 2019). Farmers may also see that avoiding the sun in midday would be losing money because that it a valuable time to get work done, therefore it may be easier to persuade them to use sunscreen and hats and not avoiding the sun during the midday.  The study found that response cost, however, was a low predictor for the use of SCPBs and that perceived susceptibility and rewards were high (Babazadeh et al., 2019).  

Focus of Interventions to Reduce Skin Cancer

 As stated above, response cost was a low predictor for the use of SCPBs and that perceived susceptibility, rewards, and self-efficacy were strong predictors for the use of SCPBs (Babazadeh et al., 2019).  Because of this, the authors suggest that perceived susceptibility should be given more attention when designing interventions, along with improving the health literacy of the farmers.

My Threat and Coping Appraisal 

 My responses were similar to those as the farmers.  When I was younger, I played softball through high school.  I remember never wearing sunscreen and when asked to, I told my mom that it just made me sticky and made dirt stick on me more.  Like the farmers, I did not believe myself to be at risk of cancer.  My reasoning for this was because I was young and cancer, to me, was something only adults got.  I believe if skin cancer prevention counselling would have been provided to me at a younger age, I would have been more apt to use SCPBs.


Hayden, J. (2019). Introduction to health behavior theory (3rd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Babazadeh, T., Nardrian, H., Nanayejeddi, M., & Rezapour, B. (2016). Determinants of skin cancer prevention behaviors among rural farmers in Iran: An application of protection motivation theory. Journal of Cancer Education, online. doi: 10.1007/s13187-016-1004-7

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