Condition category
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Prospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting
Publication status
Results overdue

Plain English Summary

Not provided at time of registration

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Dr Maureen Dobbins


Contact details

1200 Main Street West
HSC - 3N25G
L8N 3Z5
+1 905 525 9140 ext. 22481

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

Do tailored messages promote evidence-informed decision making in breast cancer prevention?


Study hypothesis

Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women in Canada and in women under 50 it is the most common cause of death from any cancer. The goal of this study is to evaluate a knowledge transfer and exchange strategy to improve the provision of public health services for breast cancer prevention and early detection.

Research questions:
1. Are tailored messages more effective than access to in facilitating evidence-informed decision making (EIDM) among public health professionals working in breast cancer prevention and early detection?
2. Are tailored messages more effective than access to in promoting the use of research evidence in program planning decisions among individual public health decision makers?
3. Is EIDM influenced by characteristics of the organisation, environment, and individual?

Ethics approval

Ethics approval submitted to the Hamilton Health Sciences/Faculty of Health Sciences Research Ethics Board on the 27th May 2008. REB to review on the 17th June 2008 meeting.

Study design

Interventional, mixed methods, single-site study consisting of a stratified randomised controlled trial and a descriptive, qualitative study.

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting

Not specified

Trial type


Patient information sheet


Breast cancer


A tailored messaging (TM) intervention will be implemented over one year and will be comprised of three distinct components:

1. An expert consensus panel:
Researchers, health care providers, policy-makers working in breast cancer prevention and early detection across Canada will be convened to identify the most effective and important public health-related interventions. A complete list of interventions shown to be effective in systematic reviews identified by the research team will be generated. Through a Delphi approach experts will identify those breast cancer prevention and early detection interventions for which there is the most convincing evidence of effectiveness and are most important to implement in public health.

2. Three one-day regional workshops:
Recommendations of the expert panel will be presented to decision makers in the TM group. The goal of the workshop is to:
2.1. Learn about effective interventions for breast cancer prevention and early detection, and
2.2. To discuss and debate how to apply this knowledge in their local settings

3. Tailored messaging (TM) activities:
TM will consist of electronically mailed recommendations from the expert panel, along with the citations, abstracts, summaries (written by the research team) and full text links/or PDF documents of rigorous systematic reviews. All decision makers in each health unit in the TM group will receive the materials and will have access to, (described under control, to follow) where all of the TM materials will be housed.

The control group will have access to, an on-line registry of literature reviews evaluating the effectiveness of public heath interventions. The registry is easily accessible, free of charge, and easy to navigate. In addition to identifying the citation, participants will also be able to access the published abstracts of reviews, the research team’s rating of the methodological quality of the review, and short summaries of the reviews written by the research team. Launched in March 2005, has as many as 200 hits per day (greater than 20,000 per year), primarily from public health decision makers in Canada. Participants in the control group will be able to access the same materials used in the TM intervention on DMs will also receive materials promoting use of the site.

Total duration of the intervention being implemented is one year. Total duration of follow up data collection will be three months.

Intervention type



Not Specified

Drug names

Primary outcome measure

The primary outcome will be the percentage change in the number of evidence-based interventions from baseline and will be calculated as the outcome variable (this variable can be either negative or greater than 100). Then, the value of this variable will be tabulated per province/territory. For each province/territory multiple measurements for the TM and control groups will be available. If the number of health units for the TM or control group is less than three for a particular province/territory, the data for that province/territory will be amalgamated with the neighboring province/territory. A fixed effect meta-analytic approach will be used to compare the difference between the control group and treatment group. This technique will permit us to report treatment effect size and the corresponding 95% confidence interval.

Secondary outcome measures

1. To assess whether TMs are more effective than access to in promoting the use of research evidence in program planning decisions, a multi-level mixed effect regression analysis will be used to compare the perceived self-reported incorporation of research evidence on breast cancer prevention and early detection into decision makers' program planning decision-making. Using this technique we will be able to examine the difference between intervention and control while adjusting for the possible effects of the organisational, the individual and the environment (province/territory).
2. To determine whether EIDM influenced by characteristics of the organisation, environment, and individual, the outcome variable will be the number of breast cancer prevention and early detection interventions implemented by each health unit. A multilevel log-linear model will assess the difference between the TM and control groups while adjusting for characteristics of the organisation, individual, and the environment (province/territory).

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned (if study stopped)


Participant inclusion criteria

Study participants include public health professionals responsible for making policy or program decisions related to breast cancer prevention directly (e.g. screening, physical activity, healthy eating), including program managers, directors, and medical officers of health working in public health units in Canada.

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants

Approximately 94 health units recruited with approximately 300 participants in total (allowing for 3 - 5 participants per health unit)

Participant exclusion criteria

1. No responsibility for and/or involvement in decision making related to breast cancer prevention
2. Not currently working in a public health unit

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment


Trial participating centre

1200 Main Street West
L8N 3Z5

Sponsor information


McMaster University (Canada)

Sponsor details

School of Nursing
1200 Main Street West
L8N 3Z5

Sponsor type




Funder type

Research organisation

Funder name

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation - Ontario Region (Canada)

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Not provided at time of registration

Intention to publish date

Participant level data

Not provided at time of registration

Basic results (scientific)

Publication list

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes