University of Vermont

Office of Health Promotion Research

OHPR Abstract 89

Abstract 1990-1999

Solomon LJ, Flynn BS, Worden JK, Mickey RM, Skelly JM, Geller BM, Peluso NW, Webster JA. Assessment of self-reward strategies for maintenance of breast self-examination. J Behav Med. 1998 Feb;21(1):83-102.

This study examined the relative impact of different self-reward strategies on maintenance of breast self-examination (BSE) practice among 1649 women trained to do BSE. Training groups were randomized into four conditions: (a) self-reward instructions and materials delivered at the end of the BSE training session; (b) self-reward suggestions delivered through the mail each month, contingent upon the BSE performance; (c) external monetary rewards and self-reward suggestions delivered through the mail each month on an intermittent schedule, contingent upon BSE practice; and (d) a no-reward control condition. Follow-up assessments 12 months following training revealed a pattern of evidence in support of the benefits of external monetary rewards and self-reward prompts on BSE frequency and quality; however, it is likely that the value of that condition lies in the external reward component.

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