Background: The Bridge to Better Health (BRIDGE) project is a program that focuses on providing rural high school youth with motivation, knowledge, and skills essential to cancer prevention. In this pilot intervention, we used instruction in personal health genealogy as a means of increasing awareness and knowledge of health risk and motivation to change several screening and cancer-related behaviors.
Methods: We administered a Bridge to Better Health survey to 173 ninth- and l0th-grade students from a rural Southeastern Virginia high school before and after delivery of the BRIDGE pilot intervention.
Results: Significant preintervention to postintervention changes were observed for general genealogy knowledge, personal health genealogy, self-efficacy, and intention to practice self-examinations (breast, testicular, and skin) and eating a high-fiber and low-fat diet.
Conclusion: These project results demonstrate the importance of theory-driven interventions for increasing cancer knowledge and changing cancer-related dietary and screening behaviors.