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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

WashU: Legislators Who Prioritize Cancer are More Receptive to Research

State legislators who prioritize cancer control are more likely to base their decisions on research evidence than policy makers interested in other issues, finds a new study from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.


[Photo: Dr. Ross C. Brownson]

Data were collected from U.S. state policymakers from January through October 2012. Participants who prioritized cancer risk factors were 80 percent more likely to rate research information as one of their top reasons for choosing an issue on which to work.

“Extensive research suggests that state policy has a powerful impact on cancer rates,” said Dr. Ross Brownson, the Bernard Becker Professor at the Brown School of Public Health and co-author of the study released June 14 in the journal Cancer Causes & Control.

“We found that to effectively communicate with state legislators about cancer control, advocates should consider telling a compelling story that is delivered by a person respected by the policy maker,” said Brownson, director of the Brown School’s Prevention Research Center.

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