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Offering disinclined people the choice between different screening appointments: a randomised online survey

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Sandro Tiziano Stoffel
  • Yasemin Hirst
  • Alex Ghanouni
  • Jo Waller
  • Christian von Wagner
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/09/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Psychology and Health
Issue number9
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)1135-1146
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date18/10/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English


OBJECTIVES: An invitation to cancer screening with a single (fixed) appointment time has been shown to be a more effective way at increasing uptake compared with an invitation with an open (unscheduled) appointment. The present study tested whether offering more than one fixed appointment could further enhance this effect or be detrimental to people's intention.

DESIGN: Experimental online hypothetical vignette survey.

METHODS: 1,908 respondents who stated that they did not intend to participate in Bowel Scope Screening (BSS) were offered either one, two, four or six hypothetical fixed BSS appointments (all of which covered the same time of day to control for individual preferences).

RESULTS: Participants who were given more than one appointment to choose from were less likely to intend to book an appointment despite multiple appointments being perceived as more convenient.

CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that when it comes to offering people appointments for cancer screening, less (choice) is more, at least if alternatives fail to serve an inherent preference.