Objective: Properly informing target audiences is crucial in population-based screening programs. We aimed to evaluate the impact of information about CRC screening on attitudes and intended participation in a screening-naive population.
Methods: 614 persons (aged 55-75 years) received a survey. Information on CRC and screening was provided piece by piece, and per piece its impact on attitudes and intended participation was assessed. All persons received the same information content, but the sequence of information differed per condition: information on the high mortality rate of colorectal cancer was presented in the first or the second piece. Educational levels, the extent people considered future consequences, and value concordance between attitudes and intentions were assessed.
Results: 436 persons (response 71%) completed the survey. Overall most respondents reported positive attitudes towards CRC screening (78%) and intentions to participate in CRC screening (83%), independent of sequence of information provision. Intentions about participation were value concordant in the majority (88%). Results were similar in low educated groups.
Conclusion: Providing balanced information about CRC screening (also addressing negative effects) did not impede value concordance and high rates of intended participation.
Practice implications: High rates of screening intentions are possible without omitting threatening health information in communication materials.
Keywords: Colorectal cancer; Communication; Informed choice; Participation; Screening; Value concordance.
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