A systematic review of the effect of individualized risk communication strategies on screening uptake and its psychological predictors: the role of psychology theory

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Kathryn Bould *
Blanaid Daly
Stephen Dunne
Suzanne Scott
Koula Asimakopoulou
(*) Corresponding Author:
Kathryn Bould | kathryn.bould@kcl.ac.uk


People might be more likely to attend for health screening if they are told their individual risk of an illness. The way this risk of ill-health is communicated might have an effect on screening uptake or its psychological proxies. It is possible that the format, presentation, and details of the information as well as the complexity of an intervention and use of psychological theory to inform the intervention may impact the effectiveness of individual risk communication. This systematic review collates, analyses and synthesizes the evidence for effectiveness of these aspects of individual risk communication. The synthesis indicated that written, individualized risk scores or categories are effective at supporting screening uptake and its psychological proxies. Complex, or theory-based interventions, surprisingly, are no more effective than simpler or atheoretical interventions.

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