Increasing Colon Cancer Screening in Primary Care

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ABSTRACT=The American Cancer Society recommends that men and women 50 or more years of age have a annual fecal occult blood test (FOBT) and a flexible sigmoidoscopy (FS) examination every five years to screen for colorectal cancer (CRC). Alternative CRC screening regimens that are recommended include having a barium enema X-ray (BE) at five- year intervals or a colonoscopy (CX) every 10 years. Compliance with CRC screening guidelines is low. The proposed study, Increasing Colon Cancer Screening in Primary Care, is intended to develop and test methods that may be used to increase CRC screening compliance. Study participants will be male and female patients of a large, urban primary care practice (Jefferson Family Medicine Associates), who are 50 to 74 years of age and are at average risk for CRC according to American Cancer Society guidelines. After a Baseline Survey and Baseline Chart Audit are completed, 1,488 study participants will be randomly assigned either to a Control Group, a Standard Intervention (SI) Group, a Tailored Intervention (TI) Group, or a Tailored Intervention plus Phone (TIP) Group. During a two-year period, the Control Group will receive usual care, while the intervention groups will be provided two annual screening interventions. The SI Group will receive a standard CRC screening invitation letter, a CRC screening kit (an educational booklet, and an educational videotape, and FOBTs), and a standard reminder letter. The TI Group will receive a tailored CRC screening invitation letter, a CRC screening kit, and a tailored reminder letter. Here, educational messages tailored to participant stage of decision making about screening will be embedded in the letters. The TIP Group will receive the same intervention at the TI Group, plus a tailored telephone counseling call to amplify educational messages in the tailored screening invitation letter. Midpoint and Endpoint Surveys will be administered and an Endpoint Chart Audit will be completed for study (participants. Specific aims of the study include the following: (1) Assess the impact of study interventions on screening compliance. (2) Assess the impact of study interventions on screening decision-making stage. (3) Assess the impact of study interventions on defined cognitive and psychosocial variables. (4) Identify variables associated with screening compliance and decision-making stage. (5) Evaluate intervention cost- effectiveness relative to screening compliance.
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