An article has been published in BMJ Open reviewing the impact on health-related behaviours themselves, including screening uptake, of interventions incorporating information about cancer risk targeted at the general adult population.
The study included 19 studies reporting 12 outcomes. In eight studies personalised information was provided about risk of breast cancer, in five about risk of colorectal cancer (CRC), in three risk of skin cancer, one lung cancer, one cervical cancer and one multiple cancers.
There is limited evidence that personalised cancer risk information did impact some health-related behaviours, including increase smoking abstinence, sun protection, adult skin self-examination and breast examination, and decrease intention to tan.
There was evidence that interventions incorporating personalised cancer risk information did not affect intention to attend or attendance at screening.
However, the authors highlight that it was only possible to meta-analyse one outcome, attendance at screening and, in many studies, separating the effect of the risk information alone from additional elements of the interventions was not possible.
They conclude that further research, ideally including objective measures of behaviour, is needed before cancer risk information is incorporated into routine practice for health promotion in the general population.
The full study can be read here.