Purpose: To determine the effect of common components of primary care-based colorectal cancer (CRC) screening interventions on fecal occult blood test (FOBT) completion within rural and urban community clinics, including: (1) physician's spoken recommendation, (2) providing information or education about FOBTs, and (3) physician providing the FOBT kit; to determine the relative effect of these interventions; and to compare the effect of each intervention between rural and urban clinics.
Methods: We conducted structured interviews with patients aged 50 years and over receiving care at community clinics that were noncompliant with CRC screening. Self-report of ever receiving a physician's recommendation for screening, FOBT information or education, physician providing an FOBT kit, and FOBT completion were collected.
Findings: Participants included 849 screening-eligible adults; 77% were female and 68% were African American. The median age was 57; 33% lacked a high school diploma and 51% had low literacy. In multivariable analysis, all services were predictive of rural participants completing screening (physician recommendation: P= .002; FOBT education: P= .001; physician giving FOBT kit: P < .0001). In urban clinics, only physician giving the kit predicted FOBT completion (P < .0001). Compared to urban patients, rural patients showed a stronger relationship between FOBT completion and receiving a physician recommendation (risk ratio [RR]: 5.3 vs 2.1; P= .0001), receiving information or education on FOBTs (RR: 3.8 vs 1.9; P= .0002), or receiving an FOBT kit from their physician (RR: 22.3 vs 10.1; P= .035).
Conclusions: Participants who receive an FOBT kit from their physician are more likely to complete screening.