Is there a use for tailored print communications in cancer risk communication?

J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr. 1999:(25):140-8. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.jncimonographs.a024190.


The manner of presentation of cancer risk information is critical to its understanding and acceptance by the individual recipient. Optimal communication of cancer risk information must effectively translate the technical meaning and subtleties of risk and its associated factors to a conceptual level understandable by the recipient. Tailored print communications (TPCs) may be an appropriate medium for cancer risk communication (CRC). TPCs are more refined than targeted communication materials. They are print materials created especially for an individual on the basis of knowledge about that person. The goal is to provide individually relevant and appropriate information. This review examines the nature of TPCs, assesses the use and potential of TPCs for the purpose of CRC, and highlights new directions in CRC. Articles dealing with TPCs were located by searching the MEDLINE(R) and PsychInfo(R) databases and seeking in-press articles. TPCs were identified for several areas of CRC, including dietary change, smoking cessation, mammography use, hormone replacement therapy, health risk appraisal, and genetic susceptibility to cancer. Although TPCs have been used in a number of different behavioral areas, they have not yet achieved their potential for CRC. The use of TPCs in the communication of cancer risk shows great promise, however, particularly as knowledge evolves regarding both the nature of risk and the most effective tailoring of health communication messages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Communication*
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Teaching Materials*