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Much of the chronic disease burden could be averted through adoption of healthy lifestyle behaviours.1 Print and computer communication channels have the capacity to reach large numbers of people at relatively low cost.2 Previous reviews have suggested that computer tailoring, that is selecting communication content based on data-driven decision rules following an individual assessment, may improve the effectiveness of such interventions.3
This systematic review aimed to assess the effect of computer-tailored interventions focusing on four health behaviours (smoking cessation, physical activity, diet and regular mammography screening). Moderators of effect were also examined.
Searches and inclusion criteria
Four electronic databases and reference lists of relevant studies were searched independently by two reviewers for trials published between 1988 and 2009. Eligible studies were trials comparing computer-tailored interventions, delivered primarily via communication channels that did not use live counsellors, with a non-tailored control group.
Interventions included individual patient feedback derived by computer-based …