Objective: Screening reduces colorectal cancer (CRC) mortality and is cost-effective, yet uptake is suboptimal. We developed and evaluated a personally tailored interactive multimedia computer program (IMCP) to encourage CRC screening.
Methods: Randomized controlled pilot trial evaluating the effects of the personally tailored CRC screening IMCP as compared with a non-tailored IMCP ("electronic leaflet") control. The IMCP was tailored to patient preference, self-efficacy, barriers, and readiness and deployed in busy primary care offices before scheduled doctor visits. Main outcomes were: CRC screening knowledge, self-efficacy, benefits and barriers, and stage of readiness.
Results: We enrolled 54 subjects; software glitches occurred in 5, leaving 49 subjects for analysis. In adjusted analyses, compared with control, the experimental group had a significant increase in CRC screening self-efficacy (p=0.049), a significantly greater likelihood of moving to a more advanced stage of readiness for screening (p=0.034), a trend toward fewer perceived barriers to screening (p=0.149), and no difference in perceived benefits or knowledge of screening.
Conclusion: Our personally tailored IMCP was significantly more effective than control in bolstering CRC screening readiness and self-efficacy.
Practice implications: If further streamlined, personally tailored IMCPs might be usefully deployed in busy primary care offices to improve uptake of CRC screening.