Background: Managed care organizations and others reaching out to underscreened women seek strategies to encourage mammogram and Pap screening.
Methods: Female HMO members aged 50-69 years and overdue for a mammogram and a Pap test (n = 501) were followed for 24 months after interventions began. An Outreach intervention (tailored letters and motivational telephone interviews), an Inreach intervention (motivational interview delivered in clinics), and a Combined Inreach/Outreach intervention were compared to Usual Care at 24 months. Logistic regression and Cox hazard models examined predictors of obtaining screening services and time-to-service, respectively.
Results: Compared with Usual Care, the odds of Outreach women aged 50-64 obtaining a mammogram (OR = 2.06; 95% CI = 1.59-5.29), a Pap test (OR = 1.97; 95% CI = 1.12-3.53), or both (OR = 2.53; 95% CI = 1.40-4.63) remained significantly increased at 24 months. The average time-to-service for Outreach women was reduced by 4 months. Outreach effects persisted despite intensive, ongoing health plan efforts to improve screening of all women.
Conclusions: This brief, tailored outreach intervention was an effective strategy for encouraging cervical and breast cancer screening among women overdue for both screening services. It also shortened time-to-service, an important benefit for early detection and treatment. Alternative strategies are needed for women who remain unscreened.