The purpose of this study is to determine whether a newly developed educational software program is effective in increasing patients' confidence in their ability to undergo colon cancer screening. If the software is effective in this regard, the study will also determine if increased confidence to undergo screening leads to more people being screened and to people feeling as though their decision about screening was informed.
Primary Outcome Measures:
- Colorectal cancer screening self-efficacy
Secondary Outcome Measures:
- Colorectal cancer screening intention
- Colorectal cancer screening decisional conflict
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Background: Interactive multimedia computer programs (IMCPs) show promise for facilitating informed patient decisions. However, it is unclear whether IMCPs can activate patients by delivering personally tailored information to bolster self-efficacy, a key mediator of health behavior. It is also unclear whether IMCPs might be employed to lessen disparities in care experienced by less educated people by tailoring self-efficacy enhancing information to educational level and compensating for provider biases in communication. Finally, the optimal way to deploy IMPCs in primary care (e.g. before versus following an office visit) remains unclear. Aims/Hypotheses: We will compare changes in colorectal cancer (CRC) screening self-efficacy, intention, uptake, and informed decision making resulting from an IMCP providing personally tailored information (to subject educational level and self-efficacy) intended to boost self-efficacy with changes resulting from a non-tailored control IMCP. We hypothesize both the intervention and control condition will result in increases in CRC screening self-efficacy, but increases will be significantly greater in the intervention group. We also hypothesize both the intervention and control condition will increase CRC screening intention, uptake, and informed decision making, but increases will be greater in the intervention group and will be mediated by self-efficacy enhancement. Methods: Pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) of 2 groups, comparing a PCN office visit-linked, tailored (to subject self-efficacy) IMCP software program plus mailed reminders versus a non-tailored CRC screening IMCP software program plus mailed reminders (control). Screening methods targeted will be fecal occult blood testing, flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, and computed tomographic virtual colonoscopy. Primary outcomes will be CRC screening self-efficacy, intention, uptake, and informed decision making. Implications: Our pilot is powered to detect a significant effect on CRC screening self-efficacy but not other outcomes; however, by conducting it as we would a future and larger RCT, we will determine protocol feasibility. If our hypotheses are confirmed, it would imply cancer screening IMCPs should be focused on enhancing self-efficacy. Since self-efficacy is a mediator of many patient and health care provider behaviors, it would also imply that similar IMCPs could be developed to support a host of patient and professional education efforts.