PLoS One. 2020 Aug 31;15(8):e0238474. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0238474. eCollection 2020.
OBJECTIVES: A sufficient screening rate is indispensable to optimize the positive impact of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of an additional outreach of providing an opportunity to obtain a kit for fecal immunochemical test (FIT) during the general health check-up to increase CRC screening rate.
METHODS: This was a longitudinal study using pre-existing data in Kujukuri Town, Japan. The town provided CRC screening in the fiscal year (FY) 2017 using an existing procedure for all beneficiaries of the National Health Insurance, whereas in FY 2018, an additional outreach effort was made to only those with an even number of age (exposed group), who were offered an opportunity to obtain a kit for FIT at the time of general health check-ups but not to those with an odd number of age (control group). To estimate the effectiveness, generalized estimating equation (GEE) with individuals as clusters was performed.
RESULTS: In total, 3,530 individuals were included (1,708 in the control group and 1,822 in the exposed group). GEE showed significant interaction between the groups (control and exposed) and FYs (2017 and 2018) (p<0.001), indicating that the change in CRC screening rate from 2017 to 2018 was significantly different between the two groups. Although an achieved actual rate of 17.1% in the exposed group in FY 2018 was low, the additional outreach increased the rate by 5.8 percentage point (95% confidence interval, 3.5-8.1) compared with an existing rate.
CONCLUSIONS: Additional outreach of providing an opportunity to obtain a kit for FIT at the time of the general health check-up improved the CRC screening rate. However, screening rate achieved by this strategy remained low, indicating further efforts is required.