Face-to-face tailored messages have a positive effective on health behaviours

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Providing effective health education is a core role for health practitioners. This review looked at the effectiveness of face-to-face delivered tailored health messages on patient behaviour and applications for practice.

Medline, Embase, Psycinfo and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials(CENTRAL) and reference lists of related systematic reviews  were  searched.  Randomised controlled trials (RCT) involving health education that promoted health behaviour change, health education based on evidence-based behaviour change model, use of tailored messages based on participant assessment and delivered face-to-face and were writen in English  were included.

Six RCTs  met the inclusion criteria.  All of the studies reported positive changes in participants’ health behaviour with varying degrees of effect size and duration. A meta-analysis of the available data also confirmed an overall positive effect of tailored messaging on participants’ health behaviour.

They concluded:-

The systematic review and the meta-analysis demonstrate a significant and positive effective of face-to-face tailored messaging upon participants’ health behaviours.

Wanyonyi KL, Themessl-Huber M, Humphris G, Freeman R. A systematic review and meta-analysis of face-to-face communication of tailored health messages: Implications for practice. Patient Educ Couns. 2011 Mar 10. [Epub ahead of print]PubMed PMID: 21397434.

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Derek Richards

Derek Richards is a specialist in dental public health, Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Dentistry and Specialist Advisor to the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) Development Team. A former editor of the Evidence-Based Dentistry Journal and chief blogger for the Dental Elf website until December 2023. Derek has been involved with a wide range of evidence-based initiatives both nationally and internationally since 1994. Derek retired from the NHS in 2019 remaining as a part-time senior lecturer at Dundee Dental School until the end of 2023.

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