Simple Interventions Increase Colorectal Cancer Screenings

Rates are higher in patients receiving personalized mailings and yearly telephone reminders

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Targeted and tailored interventions can significantly increase colorectal cancer screening rates, according to a report published online Sept. 24 in the journal Cancer.

Ronald Myers, Ph.D., of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, and colleagues randomly assigned 1,546 at-risk patients to one of four groups: standard intervention with screening invitation letter, informational booklet, stool blood test, and reminder letter; tailored intervention with mailing personalized education and screening supplies; tailored intervention plus one-year phone follow-up; and no intervention/usual care.

After two years, the researchers found colorectal cancer screening rates were 46 percent in the standard intervention group, 44 percent in the tailored intervention group and 48 percent in the tailored intervention plus one-year phone follow-up group compared to only 33 percent in the no intervention/usual care group.

"These findings provide support for the use of at least a targeted intervention in primary care practice settings to increase the use of colorectal cancer screening among adult patients who are not up to date with colorectal cancer screening guidelines," the authors conclude.

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