Improving colorectal cancer screening in rural primary care: Preliminary effectiveness and implementation of a collaborative mailed fecal immunochemical test pilot

Melinda M. Davis, Jen Coury, Jean Hiebert Larson, Rose Gunn, Elke Geiger Towey, Andrea Ketelhut, Mary Patzel, Katrina Ramsey, Gloria D. Coronado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Mailed fecal immunochemical test (FIT) outreach can improve colorectal cancer (CRC) screening rates. We piloted a collaborative mailed FIT program with health plans and rural clinics to evaluate preliminary effectiveness and refine implementation strategies. Methods: We conducted a single-arm study using a convergent, parallel mixed-methods design to evaluate the implementation of a collaborative mailed FIT program. Enrollees were identified using health plan claims and confirmed via clinic scrub. The intervention included a vendor-delivered automated phone call (auto-call) prompt, FIT mailing, and reminder auto-call; clinics were encouraged to make live reminder calls. Practice facilitation was the primary implementation strategy. At 12 months post mailing, we assessed the rates of: (1) mailed FIT return and (2) completion of any CRC screening. We took fieldnotes and conducted postintervention key informant interviews to assess implementation outcomes (eg, feasibility, acceptability, and adaptations). Results: One hundred and sixty-nine Medicaid or Medicare enrollees were mailed a FIT. Over the 12-month intervention, 62 participants (37%) completed screening of which 21% completed the mailed FIT (most were returned within 3 months), and 15% screened by other methods (FITs distributed in-clinic, colonoscopy). Enrollee demographics and the reminder call may encourage mailed FIT completion. Program feasibility and acceptability was high and supported by perceived positive benefit, alignment with existing workflows, adequate staffing, and practice facilitation. Conclusion: Collaborative health plan-clinic mailed FIT programs are feasible and acceptable for implementation in rural clinics and support CRC screening completion. Studies that pragmatically test collaborative approaches to mailed FIT and patient navigation follow-up after abnormal FIT and support broad scale-up in rural settings are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Rural Health
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • colorectal cancer
  • community-based participatory research
  • implementation science
  • mailed fecal immunochemical tests (FIT)
  • primary health care
  • rural health services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Improving colorectal cancer screening in rural primary care: Preliminary effectiveness and implementation of a collaborative mailed fecal immunochemical test pilot'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this