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Title: A Primary Care-based intervention to improve participation in the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme
Author: Hewitson, Paul James
ISNI:       0000 0004 2744 295X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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Background: Currently, participation in the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme (NHSBCSP) is poor, with around half of all people invited returning their (FOBT) kits. The research programme aimed to investigate whether a general practitioner’s (GP) letter encouraging participation and a detailed leaflet explaining how to complete the (FOBT) included with the invitation materials would improve uptake. Methods: The research programme was divided into three phases which were designed to sequentially develop and evaluate the two interventions. The initial and second phases developed and refined the two interventions and the trial outcome measures with previous participants and stakeholder representatives. The final phase was a randomised 2x2 factorial trial conducted with people invited to screening in October 2009. Participants were randomised to either a GP’s endorsement letter and/or a detailed procedural leaflet with their FOBT kit. The primary outcome was verified participation in the NHSBCSP. Questionnaires were also used to evaluate participant perceptions of CRC screening and GPs views on involvement with the NHSBCSP. Results: The factorial trial demonstrated both the GP’s endorsement letter and the detailed procedural leaflet increased participation in the NHSBCSP. In the intention-to-treat analysis, participation improved by 6% for the detailed procedural leaflet and 5.8% for the GP endorsement letter 20 weeks after receipt of the FOBT kit. The random effects logistic regression model confirmed that there was no important interaction between the two interventions, and estimated an adjusted rate ratio of 1.11 (P=0.038) for the GP’s letter and 1.12 (P=0.029) for the leaflet. The per protocol analysis indicated that the insertion of an electronic GP’s signature on the endorsement letter was associated with increased participation (P=0.039). Conclusions: Including both an endorsement letter from each patient’s GP and a detailed procedural leaflet could increase participation in the NHSBCSP by around 10%, a relative improvement of 20% on the current participation rate. Both interventions were well-received by participants and there was minimal impact on GP workload.
Supervisor: Mant, David; Ward, Alison Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Disease prevention ; Epidemiology ; randomised trial ; mass screening ; Primary Care ; colorectal cancer ; faecal occult blood test ; questionnaires