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Interactive health communication strategies to promote dietary change for cancer prevention and control

Marci Campbell, PhD1, Marlyn Allicock-Hudson, MPH2, Carol Carr, MA2, Kelly Webber, BA1, Brenda DeVellis, PhD3, Ahinee Amamoo, MPH2, and Robert Sandler, MD, MPH4. (1) School of Public Health, Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 4102 McGavran-Greenberg Hall 238, CB# 7461, Chapel Hill, NC 25799-7400, (2) Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 100 West Drive, CB#7295, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, 9199669296, allicock@email.unc.edu, (3) Dept of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of North Carolina, CB #7400, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7400, (4) Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease, University of North Carolina, CB # 7555, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC 27599

The NC STRIDES Project was a randomized trial of two interactive health communication strategies for colon cancer prevention and health promotion among older adults: 4 mailed computer-tailored print communications (TPC) in the form of newsletters, and 4 tailored motivational interviewing (TMI) telephone counseling sessions. The population-based sample had previously participated in an epidemiological case-control study of colon cancer risk factors and included healthy colorectal cancer (CRC) survivors (n=304) and a general population group (n=521). Survivors and general population participants were similar in terms of demographics including gender (48% female), ethnicity (36% African-American), age (mean 65 years) insurance status (2% uninsured), and baseline health behaviors. Telephone surveys assessed fruit and vegetable (F&V) consumption and other health behaviors, health status, communication variables, and psychosocial characteristics. Self-reported F&V was validated by plasma biomarkers. Analyses compared group means at follow-up adjusted for baseline values. At 1-year follow-up (>90% response rate), the combination of TPC+TMI had produced an increase in F&V overall (p=0.05) compared to each separate intervention or a control group. When stratified by cancer survivorship, the effect of TPC+TMI was 1.0 servings in the general population group compared to approximately 0.5 serving for each independent intervention and no change for controls (p<0.01). No significant intervention effects were found for survivors, however (p=0.31). Findings indicate that the combination of two relatively low-intensity interventions can be effective to promote population-based change in fruit and vegetable consumption. Findings highlight the need for further research, however, to better tailor and target health communication interventions for colon cancer survivors.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Nutrition, Cancer Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Health Communication Strategies to Prevent Obesity and Chronic Diseases

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA