Effectiveness of a patient and practice-level colorectal cancer screening intervention in health plan members: the CHOICE trial

Cancer. 2011 Aug 1;117(15):3352-62. doi: 10.1002/cncr.25924. Epub 2011 Feb 11.


Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) screening reduces CRC incidence and mortality but is underused. Effective interventions to increase screening that can be implemented broadly are needed.

Methods: A controlled trial was conducted to evaluate a patient-level and practice-level intervention to increase the use of recommended CRC screening tests among health plan members. The patient-level intervention was a patient decision aid and included stage-targeted brochures that were mailed to health plan members. Intervention practices received academic detailing to prepare practices to facilitate CRC testing once patients were activated by the decision aid. We used patient surveys and claims data to assess CRC test completion.

Results: Among 443 active participants, 75.8% were ages 52 to 59 years, 80.9% were white, 62.1% were women, and 46.4% had college degrees or greater education. Among 380 active participants with known screening status at 12 months based on survey results, 39% in the intervention group reported receiving CRC screening compared with 32.2% in the usual care group (unadjusted odds ratio [OR], 1.34; 95% confidence interval; [CI], 0.88-2.05; P = .17). After adjusting for baseline differences and accounting for clustering, the effect was somewhat larger (OR, 1.64; 95% CI, 0.98-2.73; P = .06). Claims analysis produced similar effects for active participants. The intervention was more effective in those who had incomes >$50,000 (OR, 2.16; 95% CI, 1.07-4.35) than in those who had lower incomes (OR, 1.25; 95% CI, 0.53-2.94; P = .03 for interaction).

Conclusions: Interventions combining a patient-directed decision aid and practice-directed academic detailing had a modest but statistically nonsignificant effect on CRC screening rates among active participants.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00134589.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / psychology
  • Decision Support Techniques
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health*
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00134589