Modifying attributions of colorectal cancer risk

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2004 Apr;13(4):560-6.


We report how a four-group risk communication intervention targeted to individuals in the carpentry trade affected their perceived causes (i.e., attributions) for increased colorectal cancer (CRC) risk. The intervention varied the amount of information presented on CRC risk factors and whether participants received tailored feedback on their risk factors. In baseline and 3-month follow-up telephone surveys, carpenters (N = 860) reported their perceived absolute and comparative CRC risks, perceived causes for increased CRC risk, and knowledge of CRC risk factors. At follow-up, neither the type or amount of information provided, nor the use of tailoring, appreciably and consistently affected whether participants mentioned their specific risk factor (e.g., lifestyle, occupational) emphasized in their intervention information. Furthermore, attributions did not affect CRC risk perceptions. These results suggest that participants do not integrate sufficiently CRC risk factor information into their conceptualizations of CRC risk, and that more effective methods are needed to contextualize risk factors information to achieve the goal of modifying CRC risk perceptions.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • North Carolina / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Persuasive Communication
  • Risk Factors