Lack of knowledge and poor attitude are barriers to colorectal cancer screening participation. Printed material, such as pamphlets and posters, have been the main approach in health education on disease prevention in Malaysia. Current information technology advancements have led to an increasing trend of the public reading from websites and mobile apps using their mobile phones. Thus, health information dissemination should also be diverted to websites and mobile apps. Increasing knowledge and awareness could increase screening participation and prevent late detection of diseases such as colorectal cancer.
This study aimed to assess the effectiveness of the ColorApp mobile app in improving the knowledge and attitude on colorectal cancer among users aged 50 years and older, who are the population at risk for the disease in Kedah.
A quasi-experimental study was conducted with 100 participants in Kedah, Malaysia. Participants from five randomly selected community empowerment programs in Kota Setar district were in the intervention group; Kuala Muda district was the control group. Participants were given a self-administered validated questionnaire on knowledge and attitudes toward colorectal cancer. A mobile app, ColorApp (Colorectal Cancer Application), was developed as a new educational tool for colorectal cancer prevention. The intervention group used the app for two weeks. The same questionnaire was redistributed to both groups after two weeks. The mean percentage scores for knowledge and attitude between groups were compared using repeated measure ANCOVA.
There was no significant difference in age, sex, highest education level, current occupation, and diabetic status between the two groups. The number of smokers was significantly higher in the intervention group compared with the control group and was controlled for during analysis. The intervention group showed a significantly higher mean knowledge score compared with the control group with regards to time (Huynh-Feldt: F=19.81, P<.001). However, there was no significant difference in mean attitude scores between the intervention and control groups with regards to time (F=0.36, P=.55).
The ColorApp mobile app may be an adjunct approach in educating the public on colorectal cancer.

©Nor Azwany Yaacob, Muhamad Fadhil Mohamad Marzuki, Najib Majdi Yaacob, Shahrul Bariyah Ahmad, Muhammad Radzi Abu Hassan. Originally published in JMIR Human Factors (http://humanfactors.jmir.org), 25.02.2020.