The use of ultrasound (US) screening for developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) is an innovation in preventive child health care in the Netherlands. What is not known is whether parents will accept this screening method and will actually participate in it. It is widely known that health behaviors can be influenced by the framing of information. The objective of this study was to examine the influence of a gain- versus loss-framed brochure on parental participation in US screening for DDH. In total, 4150 parents of infants born between August 2007 and December 2008 received either a gain-framed or a loss-framed brochure. Parents could participate in the screening when their infant was 3 months old. The participation rate in the US screening was 74.3%. In contrast to the predictions of prospect theory, the results indicated that parents who had received the gain-framed message were more likely to participate in the screening compared to parents who had received the loss-framed message. This effect may be explained by the low risk perception of parents and by the possibility that the screening was perceived as a health-affirming behavior rather than an illness-detecting behavior. To increase participation rates, it is recommended that parents be informed about the positive aspects of partaking in screening for DDH.
Witting, M., Boere-Boonekamp, M. M., Fleuren, M. A. H., Sakkers, R. J. B., & IJzerman, M. J. (2012). Predicting Participation in Ultrasound Hip Screening From Message Framing. Health communication, 27(2), 186-193. https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2011.571760