A randomized controlled trial testing provision of fecal and blood test options on participation for colorectal cancer screening

Erin L. Symonds, Donna Hughes, Ingrid Flight, Richard Woodman, Gang Chen, Julie Ratcliffe, Susanne K. Pedersen, Robert J.L. Fraser, Carlene J. Wilson, Graeme P. Young

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Suboptimal participation is commonly observed in colorectal cancer screening programs utilizing fecal tests. This randomized controlled trial tested whether the offer of a blood test as either a "rescue" strategy for fecal test nonparticipants or an upfront choice, could improve participation. A total of 1,800 people (50–74 years) were randomized to control, rescue, or choice groups (n ¼ 600/group). All were mailed a fecal immunochemical test (FIT, OC-Sensor, Eiken Chemical Company) and a survey assessing awareness of the screening tests. The rescue group was offered a blood test 12 weeks after FIT nonparticipation. The choice group was given the opportunity to choose to do a blood test (Colvera, Clinical Genomics) instead of FIT at baseline. Participation with any test after 24 weeks was not significantly different between groups (control, 37.8%; rescue, 36.9%; choice, 33.8%; P > 0.05). When the rescue strategy was offered after 12 weeks, an additional 6.5% participated with the blood test, which was greater than the blood test participation when offered as an upfront choice (1.5%; P < 0.001). Awareness of the tests was greater for FIT than for blood (96.2% vs. 23.1%; P < 0.0001). In a population familiar with FIT screening, provision of a blood test either as a rescue of FIT nonparticipants or as an upfront choice did not increase overall participation. This might reflect a lack of awareness of the blood test for screening compared with FIT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-639
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Prevention Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

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