. Informed choice and nudging in mammography screening: A discourse analysis of Australian and Scandinavian webpages.
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonScience Technology & Society. 2021, 26 (1), 64-80 10.1177/0971721820964890
The tension between providing adequate information and achieving sufficiently high participation in population-based screening programmes, such as mammography, represents an ongoing challenge for health authorities. The theory of nudge illuminates how individuals may be nudged towards healthy behaviours without restricting individual freedom of choice. We analyse information provided on health authority webpages and uncover the subject positions available to healthy women deciding whether to participate in screening. We do so by comparing different policy contexts where women must opt in to screening (Australia) or opt out (Scandinavia). We conclude that information is used to nudge women towards screening. Alongside focus on the ease of being screened, tensions exist in simultaneously portraying women as being at risk of breast cancer and providing reassurance of their healthy state. We identify persuasive devices that emphasise responsibility to participate in screening and conclude that webpages play a dynamic role in authorities’ attempts to, on one hand, achieve high participation in screening, and on the other, promote mammography screening as an individual choice.