Stage-based expert systems to guide a population of primary care patients to quit smoking, eat healthier, prevent skin cancer, and receive regular mammograms
Date of Original Version
Background. Treating multiple health behavior risks on a population basis is one of the most promising approaches to enhancing health and reducing health care costs. Previous research demonstrated the efficacy of expert system interventions for three behaviors in a population of parents. The interventions provide individualized feedback that guides participants through the stages of change for each of their risk behaviors. This study extended that research to a more representative population of patients from primary care practice and to targeting of four rather than three behaviors. Methods. Stage-based expert systems were applied to reduce smoking, improve diet, decrease sun exposure, and prevent relapse from regular mammography. A randomized clinical controlled trial recruited 69.2% of primary care patients (N = 5407) at home via telephone. Three intervention contacts were delivered for each risk factor at 0, 6, and 12 months. The primary outcome measures were the percentages of at-risk patients at baseline who progressed to the action or maintenance stages at 24-month follow-up for each of the risk behaviors. Results. Significant treatment effects were found for each of the four behaviors, with 25.4% of intervention patients in action or maintenance for smoking, 28.8% for diet, and 23.4% for sun exposure. The treatment group had less relapse from regular mammography than the control group (6% vs. 10%). Conclusion. Proactive, home-based, and stage-matched expert systems can produce relatively high population impacts on multiple behavior risks for cancer and other chronic diseases. © 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Publication Title, e.g., Journal
Prochaska, James O., Wayne F. Velicer, Colleen Redding, Joseph S. Rossi, Michael Goldstein, Judith DePue, Geoffrey W. Greene, Susan R. Rossi, Xiaowu Sun, Joseph L. Fava, Robert Laforge, William Rakowski, and Brett A. Plummer. "Stage-based expert systems to guide a population of primary care patients to quit smoking, eat healthier, prevent skin cancer, and receive regular mammograms." Preventive Medicine 41, 2 (2005): 406-416. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2004.09.050.