Computer-tailored interventions motivating people to adopt health promoting behaviours: introduction to a new approach

Patient Educ Couns. 1999 Feb;36(2):99-105. doi: 10.1016/s0738-3991(98)00127-x.


This issue of Patient Education and Counseling discusses the development, application and effectiveness of computer-tailored interventions. Computer-tailored interventions are a relatively new health education approach. The interventions are characterised by the fact that the content of the materials is adapted, with the aid of computers, to the specific characteristics of a particular person. The use of computers also facilitates addressing large segments of the population, who can now receive materials that are not general but highly individualized. This thematic issue features papers dealing with a wide range of topics. These articles describe the application of behavioural change theories to this new approach, the advantages of computer-tailored interventions over more general mass media approaches, their effectiveness and future directions for research on computer-tailored interventions. This editorial paper introduces computerised tailoring and provides a brief overview of its elements and applications as well as of the papers in this issue, and summarises the main conclusions and suggestions for future research on computer-tailored interventions.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health
  • Computer-Assisted Instruction / methods*
  • Computer-Assisted Instruction / trends
  • Forecasting
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Health Education / trends
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Mass Media
  • Motivation*
  • Psychological Theory