A meta-analysis of web-delivered tailored health behavior change interventions

J Health Commun. 2013;18(9):1039-69. doi: 10.1080/10810730.2013.768727. Epub 2013 Jun 10.


Web-based tailored intervention programs show considerable promise in effecting health-promoting behaviors and improving health outcomes across a variety of medical conditions and patient populations. This meta-analysis compares the effects of tailored versus nontailored web-based interventions on health behaviors and explores the influence of key moderators on treatment outcomes. Forty experimental and quasi-experimental studies (N =20,180) met criteria for inclusion and were analyzed using meta-analytic procedures. The findings indicated that web-based tailored interventions effected significantly greater improvement in health outcomes as compared with control conditions both at posttesting, d =.139 (95% CI = .111, .166, p <.001, k =40) and at follow-up, d =.158 (95% CI = .124, .192, p <.001, k =21). The authors found no evidence of publication bias. These results provided further support for the differential benefits of tailored web-based interventions over nontailored approaches. Analysis of participant/descriptive, intervention, and methodological moderators shed some light on factors that may be important to the success of tailored interventions. Implications of these findings and directions for future research are discussed.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Program Evaluation
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult