Can health journalists bridge the state-of-the-science gap in mammography guidelines?

Fiona Chew, Judith Mandelbaum-Schmid, Sue Kun Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Two sequential National Cancer Institute surveys showed that more women perceived forty years rather than fifty years to be the right age for mammography screening, despite the lack of scientific evidence for this position. News media coverage of mammography guidelines regarding women in their forties was compared with the survey perceptions. Women's understanding of forty years as the right age did not correspond to the proportion of topical news content. Qualitative interviews with eight magazine health journalists illustrated the emphasis on practical recommendations over scientific knowledge. Understanding scientific evidence would enhance health reporting to create an informed public.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-351
Number of pages21
JournalScience Communication
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Health and science journalism
  • Informed public
  • Magazine
  • Mammography guidelines
  • News media coverage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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