Enhancing Type 2 diabetes risk communication with message framing and tailored risk feedback: an online randomised controlled trial

Publication Name

Australian Journal of Psychology


Objective: Type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk communication may help individuals better understand their risk and motivate behavioural changes. There is a wealth of research in health risk communication which suggest the effectiveness of message framing and tailored risk feedback; however, little is known about their potential utility when used concurrently and in high-risk population approaches to T2D prevention. Methods: This study evaluated the effects of message framing and tailored risk feedback on T2D risk perception and behavioural intentions, and if these effects were varied by level of alcohol consumption. Three hundred and forty-seven online participants were stratified by levels of alcohol consumption and subsequently randomised to receive T2D information, risk estimates, and lifestyle recommendations that were subjected to four different message framing and tailoring manipulations. Results: No significant differences were observed in T2D risk perceptions or behavioural intentions by study arm. However, T2D risk perception scores and accuracies, and behavioural intentions significantly increased post-intervention across all conditions. Conclusions: Despite the lack of impact of message framing or message tailoring, this study suggests that a brief online T2D risk communication can help to correct risk perceptions and increase behavioural intentions. These preliminary findings are encouraging and support the continued development of online risk assessment and communication to help combat the current T2D epidemic. KEY POINTS What is already known about this topic: (1) Most individuals at risk of Type 2 diabetes do not engage in risk-reducing behaviours. (2) Risk communication may help to correct Type 2 diabetes risk perception and lead to healthy behavioural changes. (3) Message framing and tailored risk feedback have been shown to be effective ways of communication, though no studies have examined them in combination. What this topic adds: (1) Preliminary support for the brief online Type 2 diabetes risk communication intervention in correcting risk perceptions and increasing behavioural intentions. (2) Effectiveness of manipulation did not differ based on message manipulation. (3) Preliminary support for the use of the risk communication intervention in high-risk populations.

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