Yasmina Okan – Improving communications about health risks and cervical cancer screening #DARTseminar

Improving communications about health risks and cervical cancer screening

On Friday 25th January 2019 13:00 – 14:00 in KHBS 1006, Associate Prof. Yasmina Okan from Leeds University Business School, will be presenting current research from the field: Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making. The talk will concern improving communications about health risks and cervical cancer screening. If you wish to attend please register your attendance below, places are limited.


Population screening aims to reduce the risk of developing a given disease or detect early stages of the disease, enabling earlier treatment. Yet, screening can also be associated with risks such as overdiagnosis and overtreatment. To make informed decisions about screening participation, invitees need information on both benefits and risks of screening, which is often provided through written materials (e.g., leaflets and web-based materials). However, quantitative information in screening communications can be challenging, even among educated audiences. Communications that are not well understood can lead to undue concern and undermine informed uptake. I will present the results of a project funded by Cancer Research UK, which focuses on improving communications about cervical cancer screening. Cervical screening can reduce both cervical cancer incidence and mortality, and is hence offered by the NHS to women across the UK. However, it is also associated with potential risks such as treatment of abnormal cells that would have cleared up on their own. In a series of studies, we examined (1) how cervical screening information is communicated in UK websites, (2) how cervical screening invitees interpret the NHS leaflet designed to support screening decisions, and (3) what is the prevalence of misunderstandings. Studies included a systematic analysis of website content and format, cognitive think-aloud interviews, and an online survey involving respondents across England with varying demographic characteristics. will discuss the implications of the findings for the design of information about cancer screening and decision support. I will also discuss related ongoing work examining how to improve communications about different health risks using simple graphical displays (e.g., icon arrays).

Please register your attendance here

Yasmina Okan is a Cancer Research Fellow / Associate Professor in Behavioural Decision Making and Management at Leeds Business School. Prior to joining Leeds Univerisity in October 2013, Yasmina worked at various international locations, including the University of Granada (where she completed her PhD), the Max Planck Institute for Human Development (Germany) and Michigan Technological University (US), where she was an international visiting researcher.

Her research interests and expertise include designing graphical displays for risk communication, contextual and emotional factors in moral judgment and decision making.

If you wish to find more out about Yasmina, visit her institutional profile: https://business.leeds.ac.uk/about-us/our-people/staff-directory/profile/yasmina-okan/

Here is also a short video of Yasmina discussing her research topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQ_oHf3YGNM

We hope to see you there!

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