Evidence-Based Interventions and Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates: The Colorectal Cancer Screening Program, 2015-2017

Am J Prev Med. 2021 Sep;61(3):402-409. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2021.03.002. Epub 2021 May 14.


Introduction: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention administers the Colorectal Cancer Control Program to increase colorectal cancer screening rates among people aged 50-75 years in areas where rates are lower than state or national levels. The aim of this study is to better understand the effectiveness of specific Colorectal Cancer Control Program components.

Methods: The study population included clinics enrolled in the Colorectal Cancer Control Program during Years 1 and 2. Clinic data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention annually from 2015 to 2017 for program evaluation were used. The outcome variable was screening rate change through Program Year 2, and predictor variables were a new implementation or enhancement of evidence-based interventions and other program components. The analysis, conducted in 2020, used ordinary least square and generalized estimating equations regressions and first difference models to estimate the associations of independent variables with the outcome.

Results: Of the total 336 clinics, 50%-70% newly implemented or enhanced different evidence-based interventions. Among these, client reminders were most highly associated with the increase in screening rates (8.0 percentage points). Provider reminder was not significantly associated with any change in screening rates. Among all program components, having a colorectal cancer screening champion was most highly (8.4 percentage points) associated with screening rate change. Results from different models were slightly different but in agreement.

Conclusions: Client reminders, provider assessment and feedback, and colorectal cancer screening champions were associated with increased clinic-level colorectal cancer screening rates. Universal implementation of these strategies can substantially increase colorectal cancer screening rates in the U.S.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / prevention & control
  • Early Detection of Cancer*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening
  • Program Evaluation