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A randomised controlled trial of the effect of providing online risk information and lifestyle advice for the most common preventable cancers: study protocol

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Usher-Smith, Juliet A 
Masson, Golnessa 
Mills, Katie 
Sharp, Stephen J 
Sutton, Stephen 



            Cancer is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. Prevention is recognised by many, including the World Health Organization, to offer the most cost-effective long-term strategy for the control of cancer. One approach that focuses on individuals is the provision of personalised risk information. However, whether such information motivates behaviour change and whether the effect is different with varying formats of risk presentation is unclear. We aim to assess the short-term effect of providing information about personalised risk of cancer in three different formats alongside lifestyle advice on health-related behaviours, risk perception and risk conviction.
            In a parallel group, randomised controlled trial 1000 participants will be recruited through the online platform Prolific. Participants will be allocated to either a control group receiving cancer-specific lifestyle advice alone or one of three intervention groups receiving the same lifestyle advice alongside their estimated 10-year risk of developing one of the five most common preventable cancers, calculated from self-reported modifiable behavioural risk factors, in one of three different formats (bar chart, pictograph or qualitative scale). The primary outcome is change from baseline in computed risk relative to an individual with a recommended lifestyle at three months. Secondary outcomes include: perceived risk of cancer; anxiety; cancer-related worry; intention to change behaviour; and awareness of cancer risk factors.
            This study will provide evidence on the short-term effect of providing online information about personalised risk of cancer alongside lifestyle advice on risk perception and health-related behaviours and inform the development of interventions.
            Trial registration
            ISRCTN17450583. Registered 30 January 2018.



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