The colorectal cancer (CRC) information needs of the population are diverse. The challenge is to present information in a manner that encourages its use. The provision of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) may be an approach through which information most relevant to a person’s needs can be delivered and made more salient when compared to generic information.
This pilot study aimed to test whether online information organisation (FAQs v. List) impacts attitudes and knowledge about CRC in groups discriminated by gender and age. The study also explored users’ satisfaction with the web site and information provided.
CRC information needs based on gender and age group were identified earlier and utilised for this study. 240 males and females (120 each) from three age groups (40 each; 35 to 49, 50 to 59, and 60 to 64) were recruited utilising a recruitment agency and paid for participation. They were randomly allocated to 1 of 4 information presentation groups (60 each), stratified by age group and gender: FAQ only; generic list only; choice of FAQ or generic list; control. All groups completed an online survey to measure psychological and CRC prevention knowledge variables. Two weeks later, all groups except control accessed their allocated website, immediately following which they completed a second survey.
The majority of those in the ‘choice’ group chose to view information as FAQs (44/60). Results were analysed using Generalised Linear Models testing the variables time and group. Groups did not differ significantly with respect to psychological variables.
Notwithstanding the lack of significant movement in psychological variables by group, participants preferred to view FAQs. This finding can serve as a basis for developing consumer information packages.