Colorectal cancer risk information presented by a nonphysician assistant does not increase screening rates

Thad Wilkins, Ralph A. Gillies, Pina Panchal, Mittal Patel, Peter Warren, Robert R. Schade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To determine the effectiveness of presenting individualized colorectal cancer (CRC) risk information for increasing CRC screening rates in primary care patients at above-average risk of CRC. Design: Randomized controlled trial. Setting: Georgia Regents University in Augusta - an academic family medicine clinic in the southeastern United States. Participants: Outpatients (50 to 70 years of age) scheduled for routine visits in the family medicine clinic who were determined to be at above-average risk of CRC. Interventions: Individualized CRC risk information calculated from the Your Disease Risk tool compared with a standard CRC screening handout. Main outcome measures: Intention to complete CRC screening. Secondary measures included the proportions of subjects completing fecal occult blood tests, flexible sigmoidoscopy, and colonoscopy. Results: A total of 1147 consecutive records were reviewed to determine eligibility. Overall, 210 (37.7%) of 557 eligible participants were randomized to receive either individualized CRC risk information (prepared by a research assistant) or a standard CRC screening handout. The intervention group had a mean (SD) age of 55.7 (4.8) years and the control group had a mean (SD) age of 55.6 (4.6) years. Two-thirds of the participants in each group were female. The intervention group and the control group were matched by race ( P = .40). There was no significant difference between groups for intention to complete CRC screening ( P = .58). Overall, 26.7% of the intervention participants and 27.7% of the control participants completed 1 or more CRC screening tests (P = .66). Conclusion: Presentation of individualized CRC risk information by a nonphysician assistant as a decision aid did not result in higher CRC screening rates in primary care patients compared with presentation of general CRC screening information. Future research is needed to determine if physician presentation of CRC risk information would result in increased screening rates compared with research assistant presentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)731-738
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian Family Physician
Volume60
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice

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