Increasing attendance at colorectal cancer screening: testing the efficacy of a mailed, psychoeducational intervention in a community sample of older adults

Health Psychol. 2003 Jan;22(1):99-105. doi: 10.1037//0278-6133.22.1.99.


This article describes a trial of a psychoeducational intervention designed to modify negative attitudes toward flexible sigmoidoscopy screening and thereby increase screening attendance. The intervention materials addressed the multiple barriers shown to be associated with participation in earlier studies. Adults ages 55-64 (N = 2,966), in a "harder-to-reach" group were randomized either to receive an intervention brochure or to a standard invitation group. Attitudes and expectations were assessed by questionnaire, and attendance at the clinic was recorded. Compared with controls, the intervention group had less negative attitudes, anticipated a more positive experience, and had a 3.6% higher level of attendance. These results indicate that psychoeducational interventions can provide an effective means of modifying attitudes and increasing rates of screening attendance.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Communication Barriers
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Sigmoidoscopy