A feasibility test of a brief educational intervention to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among callers to the cancer information service

Alfred C. Marcus, Marion Morra, Barbara K. Rimer, Mischelle Stricker, Jerianne Heimendinger, Pam Wolfe, Sherri L. Darrow, Lynn A Hamilton, Donna S. Cox, Nina Miller, Rosemarie Slevin Perocchia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


Background. In this paper, results are reported from a pilot study designed to test the feasibility of a proactive educational intervention delivered to callers of the Cancer Information Service (CIS). Methods. The study used a randomized two-group design (intervention vs control). Callers assigned to the intervention condition received a brief educational intervention at the end of usual service to increase fruit and vegetable consumption. As part of the intervention, key educational messages and materials drawn from the 5 A Day for Better Health program of the National Cancer Institute were provided to CIS callers over the telephone and then reinforced with two follow-up mailings. Results. Results from this pilot study indicated high levels of adherence to protocol by CIS Information Specialists who delivered the intervention to eligible CIS callers. Results obtained from the 4-week telephone follow-up interviews indicated that intervention subjects (n = 142) reported higher consumption of fruits and vegetables, averaging approximately 0.75 servings more per day (P < 0.01) than control subjects (n = 134). Conclusion. Nearly 80% of CIS callers endorsed the strategy of providing 5 A Day information at the end of usual service, even if such information was not specifically requested by the caller (i.e., the information was provided to CIS callers proactively).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)250-261
Number of pages12
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1998
Externally publishedYes



  • Diet
  • Health education
  • Information services
  • Neoplasms/prevention and control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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