A randomized controlled trial of a tailored interactive computer-delivered intervention to promote colorectal cancer screening: sometimes more is just the same

Ann Behav Med. 2011 Jun;41(3):284-99. doi: 10.1007/s12160-010-9258-5.


Background: There have been few studies of tailored interventions to promote colorectal cancer (CRC) screening.

Purpose: We conducted a randomized trial of a tailored, interactive intervention to increase CRC screening.

Methods: Patients 50-70 years completed a baseline survey, were randomized to one of three groups, and attended a wellness exam after being exposed to a tailored intervention about CRC screening (tailored group), a public web site about CRC screening (web site group), or no intervention (survey-only group). The primary outcome was completion of any recommended CRC screening by 6 months.

Results: There was no statistically significant difference in screening by 6 months: 30%, 31%, and 28% of the survey-only, web site, and tailored groups were screened. Exposure to the tailored intervention was associated with increased knowledge and CRC screening self-efficacy at 2 weeks and 6 months. Family history, prior screening, stage of change, and physician recommendation moderated the intervention effects.

Conclusions: A tailored intervention was not more effective at increasing screening than a public web site or only being surveyed.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Computer-Assisted Instruction / methods*
  • Consumer Health Information / methods*
  • Early Detection of Cancer / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care / methods*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*