OBJECTIVE: This study investigated the efficacy of an internet-based personalized decision support (PDS) tool designed to aid in the decision to screen for colorectal cancer (CRC) using a fecal occult blood test. We tested whether the efficacy of the tool in influencing attitudes to screening was mediated by perceived usability and acceptability, and considered the role of computer self-efficacy and computer anxiety in these relationships. METHODS: Eighty-one participants aged 50-76 years worked through the on-line PDS tool and completed questionnaires on computer self-efficacy, computer anxiety, attitudes to and beliefs about CRC screening before and after exposure to the PDS, and perceived usability and acceptability of the tool. RESULTS: Repeated measures ANOVA found that PDS exposure led to a significant increase in knowledge about CRC and screening, and more positive attitudes to CRC screening as measured by factors from the Preventive Health Model. Perceived usability and acceptability of the PDS mediated changes in attitudes toward CRC screening (but not CRC knowledge), and computer self-efficacy and computer anxiety were significant predictors of individuals' perceptions of the tool. CONCLUSION: Interventions designed to decrease computer anxiety, such as computer courses and internet training, may improve the acceptability of new health information technologies including internet-based decision support tools, increasing their impact on behavior change.