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Health Educ Res. 1996 Mar;11(1):97-105.

Do tailored behavior change messages enhance the effectiveness of health risk appraisal? Results from a randomized trial.

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1
Department of Community Health, School of Public Health, St Louis University, MO 63108, USA.

Abstract

Health risk appraisal (HRA) remains one of the most widely used health promotion tools despite only equivocal evidence for its effectiveness. Theories of behavior change predict conventional HRA's ineffectiveness because risk information alone is seldom sufficient to change complex behaviors. In this study, a randomized trial compared the effects of feedback from an enhanced HRA with a typical HRA and a control group among adult patients from eight family medicine practices. The enhanced HRA assessed behavior-specific psychosocial factors and provided patients with computer-generated, individually-tailored behavior change information in addition to typical HRA risk feedback. Changes in seven behaviors were assessed at a 6 month follow-up. Overall, patients receiving enhanced HRA feedback were 18% more likely to change at least one risk behavior than were patients receiving typical HRA feedback or no feedback (OR = 1.18, 95% CI = 1.00, 1.39). The enhanced HRA feedback appeared to promote changes in cholesterol screening, dietary fat consumption and physical activity, but not in smoking, seat belt use, mammography and Pap smears. We conclude that the addition of theory-based, individually-tailored behavior change information may improve the effectiveness of HRA.

PMID:
10160231
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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