Preference-based electronic decision aid to promote colorectal cancer screening: results of a randomized controlled trial

Prev Med. 2007 Oct;45(4):267-73. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2007.07.003. Epub 2007 Jul 14.


Objective: Despite the burden of colorectal cancer and improved health care outcomes with early detection and treatment, screening rates among eligible adults are low. We previously developed through a series of studies an interactive electronic tool, Colorectal Web, to promote colorectal cancer screening.

Method: From May 2002 to December 2003, we conducted a randomized controlled trial of Colorectal Web compared to a standard Web site on colorectal cancer screening in urban, suburban, and rural communities in Michigan with high colorectal cancer burden. Study participants were age 50 years and older, with no previous colorectal cancer screening. Major outcome was screened for colorectal cancer by 24 weeks post-intervention.

Results: 174 eligible adults were randomized and participated. Immediately post-intervention, Colorectal Web participants were significantly more likely to have a preferred colorectal cancer screening method, but this difference did not persist at subsequent follow-up. Eighty-nine participants had been screened for colorectal cancer by 24 weeks post-intervention. The probability of being screened for the Colorectal Web intervention study arm compared to the control is OR=3.23 (2.73-3.50 95% Confidence Interval).

Conclusion: Colorectal Web is more effective than a standard colorectal cancer Web site at prompting previously unscreened individuals to choose a preferred colorectal cancer screening test and to be screened for colorectal cancer.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude to Health
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Decision Making, Computer-Assisted*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / instrumentation*
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Michigan
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Prospective Studies
  • Software
  • Time Factors