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Keywords:

  • consumer health;
  • mammography;
  • tailored intervention;
  • TTM;
  • web-based

Aims and objectives.  Breast cancer is the fourth leading cause of death in Taiwanese women. Mammography has been recognised as a powerful tool for breast cancer detection. This study compared the effectiveness of a web-based tailored educational intervention based on Transtheoretical Model concepts with currently available educational information for improving Taiwanese women’s perceptions and intentions to obtain mammography.

Background.  Despite the wide use of the Internet for health information dissemination, health information found on the web frequently is very general and not individualised or tailored to meet specific individual needs. This has produced unsatisfactory outcomes such as little to no increase in individuals’ knowledge or behaviour changes.

Design.  A pretest–posttest study. Tailored intervention was hypothesised to be significantly different from standard intervention in perceptions of and intentions for Taiwanese women to receive mammography.

Methods.  One hundred and twenty-eight Taiwanese women were randomly assigned to one of two groups: tailored intervention or standard intervention. The tailored intervention group received a variety of educational programme tailored to the precontemplation stage for mammography based on Transtheoretical Model concepts. The standard intervention group obtained standardised mammography brochures. Interventions were given online and online questionnaires were completed by subjects at baseline and completion of interventions.

Results.  The tailored intervention group had significantly more positive perceptions of mammography and significantly more intention to obtain mammography than the standard intervention group postintervention.

Conclusions.  This study contributes to our knowledge of how a health education website can enhance women’s mammography-related positive perceptions and intentions if tailored to their readiness for change.

Relevance to clinical practice.  Increasingly, people get their health information from the web. If that education is also tailored to individual needs, it can have a greater impact on their health care decisions.