Tailored Health Communication to Change Lifestyle Behaviors

Seth M. Noar, Nancy Grant Harrington, Stephanie K. Van Stee, Rosalie Shemanski Aldrich

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Tailored health communication research represents a very promising line of inquiry that has the potential to produce major impacts on lifestyle behaviors. This study defines tailoring and discusses how tailored interventions operate, including comparing/ contrasting different tailoring channels. Next, the authors review the literature on tailored interventions to change lifestyle behaviors, with a focus on smoking cessation, dietary change, and physical activity, as well as interventions that address multiple lifestyle behaviors. Finally, future directions for tailoring research are discussed. To date, a large literature has amassed showing the promise of tailored programs delivered via print, Internet, local computer/kiosk, telephone, and interpersonal channels. Numerous studies demonstrate that these programs are capable of significant impacts on smoking cessation, dietary change, physical activity, and multiple behavior change. It is concluded that the potential of tailoring will be more fully realized as (a) the field builds a more cumulative science of tailoring and (b) greater dissemination of efficacious tailored programs takes place.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-122
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Lifestyle Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • behavior change
  • health communication
  • tailored message
  • theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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