Objectives: We compared the effectiveness of a telephone outreach approach versus a direct mail approach in improving rates of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening in a predominantly Black population.
Methods: A randomized trial was conducted between 2000 and 2003 that followed 456 participants in the New York metropolitan area who had not had recent CRC screening. The intervention group received tailored telephone outreach, and the control group received mailed printed materials. The primary outcome was medically documented CRC screening 6 months or less after randomization.
Results: CRC screening was documented in 61 of 226 (27.0%) intervention participants and in 14 of 230 (6.1%) controls (prevalence rate difference=20.9%; 95% CI = 14.34, 27.46). Compared with the control group, the intervention group was 4.4 times more likely to receive CRC screening within 6 months of randomization.
Conclusions: Tailored telephone outreach can increase CRC screening in an urban minority population.