The use of a risk assessment and decision support tool (CRISP) compared with usual care in general practice to increase risk-stratified colorectal cancer screening: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

Jennifer G. Walker, Finlay Macrae, Ingrid Winship, Jasmeen Oberoi, Sibel Saya, Shakira Milton, Adrian Bickerstaffe, James G. Dowty, Richard De Abreu Lourenço, Malcolm Clark, Louise Galloway, George Fishman, Fiona M. Walter, Louisa Flander, Patty Chondros, Driss Ait Ouakrim, Marie Pirotta, Lyndal Trevena, Mark A. Jenkins, Jon D. Emery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Australia and New Zealand have the highest incidence rates of colorectal cancer worldwide. In Australia there is significant unwarranted variation in colorectal cancer screening due to low uptake of the immunochemical faecal occult blood test, poor identification of individuals at increased risk of colorectal cancer, and over-referral of individuals at average risk for colonoscopy. Our pre-trial research has developed a novel Colorectal cancer RISk Prediction (CRISP) tool, which could be used to implement precision screening in primary care. This paper describes the protocol for a phase II multi-site individually randomised controlled trial of the CRISP tool in primary care. 

Methods: This trial aims to test whether a standardised consultation using the CRISP tool in general practice (the CRISP intervention) increases risk-appropriate colorectal cancer screening compared to control participants who receive standardised information on cancer prevention. Patients between 50 and 74 years old, attending an appointment with their general practitioner for any reason, will be invited into the trial. A total of 732 participants will be randomised to intervention or control arms using a computer-generated allocation sequence stratified by general practice. The primary outcome (risk-appropriate screening at 12 months) will be measured using baseline data for colorectal cancer risk and objective health service data to measure screening behaviour. Secondary outcomes will include participant cancer risk perception, anxiety, cancer worry, screening intentions and health service utilisation measured at 1, 6 and 12 months post randomisation. 

Discussion: This trial tests a systematic approach to implementing risk-stratified colorectal cancer screening in primary care, based on an individual's absolute risk, using a state-of-the-art risk assessment tool.

Original languageEnglish
Article number397
Number of pages14
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Colorectal cancer screening
  • Decision support
  • Faecal occult blood test
  • General practice
  • Precision medicine
  • Precision screening
  • Primary care
  • Risk assessment tool
  • Risk-stratified screening

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