Increasing colorectal cancer screening among individuals in the carpentry trade: test of risk communication interventions

Prev Med. 2005 May;40(5):489-501. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2004.09.019.


Background: Individuals in the carpentry trade, due to lifestyle habits and occupational exposures, may be at above-average risk for colorectal cancer (CRC). Based on the literature which suggests that increasing perceived risk motivates behavior change, we report on the effectiveness of four risk-communication interventions targeted to increase initial, yearly and repeat fecal occult screening (FOBT) among carpenters (N = 860) over a 3-year period.

Methods: Our 2 x 2 factorial design intervention study varied two dimensions of providing CRC risk factor information: (1) type of risk factor-one set of interventions emphasized three basic risk factors (age, family history and polyps); the other set emphasized a comprehensive set of risk factors including basic, lifestyle, and occupational factors, and (2) tailoring/not tailoring risk factor information. Participants were provided FOBTs. Outcomes were the proportion of returned FOBTs.

Results: Varying the amount and intensity of delivering CRC risk factors information affected neither risk perceptions nor initial, yearly, or repeat screening. However, yearly and repeat screening rates were greater among participants who received interventions addressing comprehensive set of risk factors, especially with increasing age.

Conclusions: Tailoring on several CRC risk factors appears insufficient to increase and sustain elevated perceptions of CRC risks to promote screening.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / etiology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Educational Status
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Health Promotion / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / diagnosis
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking
  • Wood*