Breast and cervical cancer screening in a low-income managed care sample: the efficacy of physician letters and phone calls

Am J Public Health. 1995 Jun;85(6):834-6. doi: 10.2105/ajph.85.6.834.


A randomized trial was conducted to evaluate the combined impact of a physician reminder letter and a telephone contact on the use of Pap tests and mammograms in a low-income managed care program. Women 40 to 79 years of age who were past due for cancer screening were randomly assigned to an intervention or control group. Medical claims were reviewed after 6 months to determine intervention effectiveness. The odds of receiving all needed cancer screening tests during follow-up were four times higher in the intervention group. Women who reported having to take time off from work to see a doctor had lower odds of getting screened.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammography* / statistics & numerical data
  • Managed Care Programs*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance
  • Poverty*
  • Reminder Systems*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Vaginal Smears* / statistics & numerical data