Impact of a physician-oriented intervention on follow-up in colorectal cancer screening

Fox Chase Cancer Center, Filadelfia, Pennsylvania, United States
Preventive Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.09). 05/2004; 38(4):375-81. DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2003.11.010
Source: PubMed


Complete diagnostic evaluation or CDE (i.e., colonoscopy or combined flexible sigmoidoscopy plus barium enema X-ray) is often not performed for persons with an abnormal screening fecal occult blood test (FOBT+) result.
This study evaluated the impact of a reminder-feedback and educational outreach intervention on primary care practice CDE recommendation and performance rates. Four hundred seventy primary care physicians (PCPs) in 318 practices participated in the study. Patients were mailed an FOBT kit annually as part of a screening program. Practices were randomly assigned to a Control Group (N = 198) or an Intervention Group (N = 120). During an 18-month pre-randomization period and a 9-month post-randomization period, 2992 screening FOBT+ patients were identified. Intervention practices received the screening program and the intervention. Control practices received only the screening program. Study outcomes were baseline-adjusted CDE recommendation and performance rates.
At baseline, about two-thirds of FOBT+ patients received a CDE recommendation, and about half had a CDE performed. At endpoint, CDE recommendation and performance rates were both significantly higher for the Intervention as compared to the Control practices (OR = 2.28; 95% CI: 1.37, 3.78, and OR = 1.63; 95% CI: 1.06, 2.50, respectively).
The reminder-feedback plus educational outreach intervention significantly increased CDE recommendation and performance.

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    • "Future studies could evaluate the efficacy of such interventions over a longer period, and in different populations (e.g., those with a strong family history of melanoma), to assess the longevity of improvements in SSE. As has been found with other health behaviour interventions (e.g., Myers et al, 2004), it may be necessary to supplement the initial training session with periodic Table 3 Bivariate analysis of demographic, clinical and psychological variables associated with frequency of clinical skin examination in the past 12 months "
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the prevalence and correlates of skin cancer screening behaviours among individuals at high risk of developing melanoma due to strong family history. A total of 120 individuals with a known family-specific CDKN2A mutation (72% response rate) completed a self-report questionnaire assessing annual frequency of skin self-examination (SSE), clinical skin examination (CSE) and a variety of potential demographic, clinical and psychosocial correlates. In the past 12 months, 50% of participants reported engaging in SSE at least four times, and 43% of participants had undergone at least one CSE. Engagement in SSE was associated with doctor recommendation (β=1.77, P=0.001), confidence in one's ability to perform SSE (β=1.44, P<0.0001), positive beliefs about melanoma treatment (β=0.77, P=0.002) and intention to perform SSE in the future (β=1.69, P<0.0001). These variables accounted for 59% of the variance in SSE behaviour. Further, information-seeking style moderated the relationship between anxiety and SSE (β=1.02, P=0.004). Annual uptake of CSE was associated with doctor recommendation (β=2.21, P<0.0001) and intention to undergo CSE in the future (β=1.19, P=0.001). In comparison with clinical guidelines, it appears that individuals at high risk of developing melanoma engage in suboptimal levels of skin surveillance. Improved doctor-patient communication, as well as psycho-education and behavioural support, may be viable means of improving early skin cancer detection behaviours in this high-risk population.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2010 · British Journal of Cancer
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    • "For instance, the rate of follow-up for positive fecal occult blood test (FOBT) results in the Veterans Affairs health care system is low; more than 40% of veterans with positive FOBTs may not be receiving timely diagnostic colonoscopies [10,11]. Lack of timely follow-up has also been documented outside the VA system [12,13]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Early detection of colorectal cancer through timely follow-up of positive Fecal Occult Blood Tests (FOBTs) remains a challenge. In our previous work, we found 40% of positive FOBT results eligible for colonoscopy had no documented response by a treating clinician at two weeks despite procedures for electronic result notification. We determined if technical and/or workflow-related aspects of automated communication in the electronic health record could lead to the lack of response. Using both qualitative and quantitative methods, we evaluated positive FOBT communication in the electronic health record of a large, urban facility between May 2008 and March 2009. We identified the source of test result communication breakdown, and developed an intervention to fix the problem. Explicit medical record reviews measured timely follow-up (defined as response within 30 days of positive FOBT) pre- and post-intervention. Data from 11 interviews and tracking information from 490 FOBT alerts revealed that the software intended to alert primary care practitioners (PCPs) of positive FOBT results was not configured correctly and over a third of positive FOBTs were not transmitted to PCPs. Upon correction of the technical problem, lack of timely follow-up decreased immediately from 29.9% to 5.4% (p<0.01) and was sustained at month 4 following the intervention. Electronic communication of positive FOBT results should be monitored to avoid limiting colorectal cancer screening benefits. Robust quality assurance and oversight systems are needed to achieve this. Our methods may be useful for others seeking to improve follow-up of FOBTs in their systems.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2009 · BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making
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    ABSTRACT: Screening for fecal occult blood reduces colorectal cancer mortality by identifying patients with positive results for complete diagnostic evaluation (CDE). CDE rates are suboptimal, however. We sought to determine common reasons for nonperformance of a CDE as recorded by the primary care physician. We undertook a descriptive analysis of reasons reported by physicians for nonperformance of CDE in a nested sample of patients with positive fecal occult blood test (FOBT) results from a randomized controlled trial designed to evaluate the impact of a physician intervention (CDE reminder-feedback and educational outreach) on recommendation and performance rates in primary care practices. Inspection of administrative data for 1,468 patients with positive results showed that 661 (45%) did not undergo CDE. We reviewed patient follow-up forms, which were completed by physicians for patients who did not have a CDE, to identify reasons for nonperformance. Nonperformance of CDE was due to physician decision for 217 patients (33%). In 123 patients (19%), reasons for nonperformance were compatible with the guidelines, and in 94 patients (14%), they were not. Reasons wholly or partially due to factors other than physician decision were noted in 212 patients (32%); physician action was considered to be appropriate in these patients. For the 232 patients (35%) without a clearly documented reason for CDE nonperformance, the appropriateness of the physicians' action could not be determined. Decision making by primary care physicians had a major effect on nonperformance of CDE after a positive FOBT result. Colorectal cancer screening programs should include guidance for physicians about when a CDE should and should not be performed.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2009 · The Annals of Family Medicine
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