A multimodal intervention to promote mammography and colorectal cancer screening in a safety-net practice

J Natl Med Assoc. 2011 Aug;103(8):762-8. doi: 10.1016/s0027-9684(15)30417-x.


Background: There are limited data regarding interventions designed to improve cancer screening rates in safety-net practices with "real world" patients.

Objective: To examine the impact of a multimodal intervention on mammography and colorectal cancer (CRC) screening rates in a safety-net practice caring for underserved patients.

Methods: At an inner-city family medicine practice, all patients past due for mammography or CRC screening were assigned to receive or not receive a screening promotion intervention based on their medical record number. The 12-month intervention included outreach to patients (tailored letters, automated and personal phone calls) and point-of-care patient and clinician prompts. The trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov, NCT00818857.

Results: We enrolled 469 participants aged 40 to 74 years, including 28% African Americans, 5% Latinos, 25% with Medicaid, and 10% without any form of insurance. Participants in the intervention group showed statistically significantly higher rates of cancer screening; rates were 41% vs 16.8% for mammography and 28.8% vs 10% for CRC screening. These findings were confirmed in multivariable analysis. Similar relative improvements in screening were seen across race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and insurance groups.

Discussion: A multimodal intervention shows promise for improving rates of mammography and colorectal cancer screening within a safety-net practice. Further study will identify the most cost-effective components of the intervention.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Colonoscopy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Health Promotion / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mammography / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Occult Blood*
  • Sigmoidoscopy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Urban Population

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00818857