An RCT to Increase Breast and Colorectal Cancer Screening

Colorectal Cancer

Am J Prev Med. 2020 Aug;59(2):e69-e78. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2020.03.008.


INTRODUCTION: Adherence to breast and colorectal cancer screenings reduce mortality from these cancers, yet screening rates remain suboptimal. This 2 × 2 RCT compared 3 theory-based interventions to usual care to simultaneously increase breast and colon cancer screening in women who were nonadherent to both screenings at study entry.


SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: Women (n=692) who were nonadherent to both breast and colon cancer screenings and aged 51-75 years were recruited. Enrollment, intervention delivery, and data collection were completed between 2013 and 2017, and data analyzed in 2018.

INTERVENTION: The randomized intervention included the following 4 groups: 3 intervention arms (personally tailored messages using a web-based intervention, phone delivery by a trained navigator, or both) compared with usual care. Women at an average risk for colon cancer were allowed to select either colonoscopy or stool test as their preferred colon cancer screening. Mammography was promoted for breast cancer screening.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Outcome data at 6 months included self-report and medical records for screening activity.

RESULTS: All intervention arms significantly increased receipt of either a mammogram or stool test compared with control (web: p<0.0249, phone: p<0.0001, web + phone: p<0.0001). When considering receipt of both mammogram and stool test, all intervention arms were significantly different from usual care (web: p<0.0249, phone: p<0.0003, web + phone: p<0.0001). In addition, women who were adherent to mammography had a 4.5 times greater odds of becoming adherent to colonoscopy.

CONCLUSIONS: The tailored intervention simultaneously supporting both breast and colon cancer screenings significantly improved rates of obtaining one of the screenings and increased receipt of both tests.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: This study is registered with the clinical trials identifier NCT03279198 at