Receptivity and Preferences in Cancer Risk Reduction Lifestyle Programs: A Survey of Colorectal Cancer Family Members

Lisa A. Howell, Tabetha A. Brockman, Pamela S. Sinicrope, Christi Ann Patten, Paul A. Decker, Shawna L Ehlers, Noralane Morey Lindor, Sandra K. Nigon, Gloria M. Petersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


BACKGROUND: Cancer is a shared family experience, and thus the purpose of this study was to assess receptivity and preferences for cancer risk reduction programs among at-risk family members with two or more relatives affected with colorectal cancer (CRC).

METHODS: The sample comprised 401 at-risk family members with two or more relatives affected with CRC from the Colon Cancer Family Registry. In March 2009, respondents completed a mailed survey assessing receptivity and preferences for participating in cancer risk reduction programs and evaluated their relationship to demographic, medical, and psychosocial variables. Multivariable generalized estimating equation approaches were used to model preferences.

RESULTS: Overall, 81% of respondents were receptive to a lifestyle cancer risk reduction program; of these, about half (54%) preferred to participate with their family. Program preferences included: weight management (36%) and nutrition (31%); delivered through the internet (41%) or mail (39%). In a multivariate model, a greater level of concern about cancer (p<0.001), female gender (p=0.002), and higher education (p=0.016) were significantly correlated with willingness to participate in lifestyle programs.

CONCLUSIONS: Family members of those with CRC are receptive to cancer risk reduction programs that focus on weight management and nutrition delivered via the internet or mail. Future research is needed to determine how best to incorporate a family-based approach that addresses the cancer experience when designing lifestyle intervention programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-290
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of behavioral health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013



  • Colorectal cancer
  • family
  • health behavior change
  • lifestyle
  • perceived risk
  • risk reduction

Cite this