Diet-Related Stomach Cancer Behavior Among Iranian College Students: A Text Messaging Intervention

Document Type: Research Articles

Authors

1 Iran University of Medical Sciences

2 Yazd University

Abstract

 
Background: Stomach cancer is one of the five most common cancers in Iran. This study examined the effectiveness of a mobile telephone short-message service (SMS) based-education intervention using Health Belief Model (HBM) variables in improving dietary behavior in terms of stomach cancer prevention among a sample of Iranian female college students. Materials and Methods: In this quasi-experimental study, 124 female college students in the dormitories of Yazd University, Yazd, Iran were randomly selected and assigned to either the intervention (n=62) or the control group (n=62). Information (data) regarding HBM variables and dietary behavior related to stomach cancer prevention was collected by a self-administrated questionnaire. Forty eight messages were designed and sent to the participants’ phones in the intervention group during the 48-day intervention period. Two groups were followed-up one month after the intervention delivered via SMS. Results: There were significant differences in HBM variables (except for the perceived severity) and the preventive dietary behaviors for stomach cancer in the intervention group compared to the comparison group following the education intervention delivered via SMS. Conclusions: SMS-delivered nutrition education intervention can be a practical strategy to improve dietary behavior related to stomach cancer prevention.

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