The short-term impact of tailored mammography decision-making interventions

Barbara K. Rimer, Susan Halabi, Celette Sugg Skinner, Ellen B. Kaplan, Yancey Crawford, Gregory P. Samsa, Tara S. Strigo, Isaac M. Lipkus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Background: We assessed the short-term impact of decision-making interventions on knowledge about mammography, accuracy of women's breast cancer risk perceptions, attitudes toward mammography, satisfaction with decisions, and mammography use since the intervention. Methods: The study was conducted among women who were members of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina and were in their 40s or 50s at the time the study began in 1997. Women were randomly assigned to usual care (UC), tailored print booklets (TP) alone, or TP plus telephone counseling (TP + TC). Results: 12-month interviews were completed by 1127 women to assess short-term intervention effects. Generally, women who received TP + TC were significantly more knowledgeable about mammography and breast cancer risk and were more accurate in their breast cancer risk perceptions than women in the TP and UC groups. They also were more likely to have had a mammogram since the baseline interview. In multivariable analyses, we found significant benefits of the combination of TP + TC compared to TP and to UC for knowledge, accuracy of risk perceptions, and mammography use. Discussion: For complex decision-making tasks, such as women's decisions about mammography in the face of controversy, the combination of TP and TC may be more effective than TP alone, and certainly more effective than UC. It is critical that investigators determine the topics for which TP is appropriate and the situations that require additional supportive interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-287
Number of pages17
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001


  • Decision-making
  • Mammography
  • Tailored
  • Telephone counseling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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