Effects of diet education on empowerment for individuals who have an increased risk of developing breast or colon cancer: A pilot study

Kaitlyn Tlusty, Mariah Jackson, Bronson Riley, Terri Blase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Strong evidence indicates following a healthy diet reduces cancer risk; however, the impact of diet education on empowerment on individuals with an increased cancer risk has not been evaluated. Study participants included patients who had met with a cancer genetic counselor without a history of cancer. Participants received pre- and post-diet education surveys including questions to measure empowerment and feedback for diet education in relation to cancer risk. Empowerment was measured using a ten-question survey adapted from the Genetic Counseling Outcome Scale. The diet education intervention consisted of viewing an infographic created for this study based on recommendations for diets that reduce cancer risk by the World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research. Twenty-eight participants completed both surveys and reviewed the diet education intervention. There was no change in empowerment between pre- and post- diet education (mean change = −0.5; p = 0.49). Participants previously learned about the relationship between a healthy diet and cancer risk reduction from several sources including family and friends (25.0%), online (25.0%), and primary care providers (25.0%). Most participants preferred diet education to be delivered online (42.9%), followed by on paper (39.3%), and in-person delivery (17.9%). This pilot study promotes further investigation on the impact of diet or lifestyle education on individuals who have a predisposition to developing cancer. While the results demonstrated no change in empowerment because of diet education, the results established a desire for learning about a healthy diet related to cancer risk and preferences for the modes of delivering education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1138-1147
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Genetic Counseling
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • education
  • genetic counseling
  • health promotion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)


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