Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 202-210

First online:

Theoretical foundations for interventions designed to promote informed decision making for cancer screening

  • Deborah J. BowenAffiliated withSchool of Public Health, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington Email author 
  • , Jennifer D. AllenAffiliated withDana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • , Thuy VuAffiliated withSchool of Public Health, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington
  • , Robin E. JohnsonAffiliated withMount Holyoke College
  • , Kelly Fryer-EdwardsAffiliated withUniversity of Washington, School of Medicine
  • , Alton HartAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University

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Background: Decision aids are currently being developed and evaluated for use in cancer-screening decisional settings.Purpose: The purpose of this article is to review and discuss the theoretical basis of interventions to promote informed decision making in cancer screening.Methods: We reviewed interventions cited in Briss et al. (1) and Rimer et al. (2) to identify their theoretical basis, intervention content, measurement strategies, and outcomes.Results: Few interventions had a strong, decision-oriented conceptual basis. This was apparent in their intervention content, the measurement strategy, and the choice of outcomes for the study.Conclusions: We recommend that more research occur into the basis of decision making in cancer screening and that future interventions use this research to rigorously design and evaluate decision aids to help people make choices about cancer screening.