Health information styles among participants in a prostate cancer screening informed decision-making intervention
The purpose of this study was to assess the usefulness of a health information styles segmentation strategy in understanding audience subgroups. We examined the health information styles of men participating in a prostate cancer screening informed decision-making (IDM) intervention and assessed intervention effects on men with distinct health information styles. We classified participants into three health information style groups based on their independence in health decision making (independent versus doctor dependent) and engagement in health enhancement (active versus passive): independent active (IA), doctor-dependent active (DDA) and passive. We developed profiles of men in these groups: IAs tended to be white and more highly educated and to have greater baseline prostate cancer knowledge; DDAs were older, less healthy and more likely to have visited a doctor in the past year and passives tended to be younger, not to have had a recent prostate-specific antigen test and to have lower self-efficacy related to communication with doctors and less positive interactions with doctors. All groups significantly increased their prostate cancer knowledge after the intervention, but passives exhibited the greatest increase in knowledge at a 6-month follow-up. The health information styles segmentation strategy used in this study offers a viable framework for segmenting audiences.