Interventions to increase recommendation and delivery of screening for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers by healthcare providers systematic reviews of provider assessment and feedback and provider incentives

Am J Prev Med. 2008 Jul;35(1 Suppl):S67-74. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2008.04.008.


Most major medical organizations recommend routine screening for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers. Screening can lead to early detection of these cancers, resulting in reduced mortality. Yet not all people who should be screened are screened, either regularly or, in some cases, ever. This report presents results of systematic reviews of effectiveness, applicability, economic efficiency, barriers to implementation, and other harms or benefits of two provider-directed intervention approaches to increase screening for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers. These approaches, provider assessment and feedback, and provider incentives encourage providers to deliver screening services at appropriate intervals. Evidence in these reviews indicates that provider assessment and feedback interventions can effectively increase screening by mammography, Pap test, and fecal occult blood test. Health plans, healthcare systems, and cancer control coalitions should consider such evidence-based findings when implementing interventions to increase screening use. Evidence was insufficient to determine the effectiveness of provider incentives in increasing use of any of these tests. Specific areas for further research are suggested in this report, including the need for additional research to determine whether provider incentives are effective in increasing use of any of these screening tests, and whether assessment and feedback interventions are effective in increasing other tests for colorectal cancer (i.e., flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, or double-contrast barium enema).

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Health Personnel*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Patient Compliance
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • United States