The effect of message frame tailoring in online smoking cessation communication

Tobacco smoking is the most prevalent cause of preventable non communicable diseases, like cancer. Online computer-tailored interventions have already shown to be (cost-)effective in improving smoking cessation, over and above more static health communication, but effect sizes remain small. The large majority of the tailored interventions developed and tested so far only tailor the content of the advice (what information should be provided), but not the presentation or framing of that advice (how should the information be communicated).

As shown in previous research, individuals differ substantially in terms of information processing preferences as their need for autonomy. By applying message frame tailoring based on this need for autonomy – in addition to content tailoring – information can be presented in an even more personalised way, taking information processing preferences into account and yielding more positive effects on health behaviour. This project therefore aims to develop and test an online tailoring program including both content tailoring and message frame tailoring.

This project is a collaboration between the University of Amsterdam and the University of Maastricht,  CAPHRI School for Public Health and Primary Care.

Research team:

Promotor: Prof. Julia van Weert
Co-promotor(s): Dr. Eline Smit & Dr. Ciska Hoving (Maastricht University/CAPHRI)

PhD student: Maria Altendorf
Status: Will start in Fall 2016
Funding: Dutch Cancer Society