ColonCancerCheck primary care invitation pilot project: patient perceptions. Journal Articles uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVE: To describe the perceptions of those who received invitations to the ColonCancerCheck Primary Care Invitation Pilot (the Pilot) about the mailed invitation, colorectal cancer (CRC) screening in general, and their specific screening experiences. DESIGN: Qualitative study with 6 focus group sessions, each 1.5 hours in length. SETTING: Hamilton, Ont; Ottawa, Ont; and Thunder Bay, Ont. PARTICIPANTS: Screening-eligible adults, aged 50 years and older, who received a Pilot invitation for CRC screening. METHODS: The focus groups were conducted by a trained moderator and were audiorecorded and transcribed verbatim. The transcripts were analyzed using grounded-theory techniques facilitated by the use of electronic software. MAIN FINDINGS: Key themes related to the invitation letter, the role of the family physician, direct mailing of the fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) kit, and alternate CRC screening promotion strategies were identified. Specifically, participants suggested the letter content should use stronger, more powerful language to capture the reader's attention. The importance of the family physician was endorsed, although participants favoured clarification of the physician and program roles in the actual mailed invitation. Participants expressed support for directly mailing FOBT kits to individuals, particularly those with successful previous test completion, and for communication of both negative and positive screening results. CONCLUSION: This study yielded a number of important findings including strategies to optimize letter content, support for directly mailed FOBT kits, and strategies to report results that might be highly relevant to other health programs where population-based CRC screening is being considered.


  • Tinmouth, Jill
  • Ritvo, Paul
  • McGregor, S Elizabeth
  • Patel, Jigisha
  • Guglietti, Crissa
  • Levitt, Cheryl
  • Paszat, Lawrence F
  • Rabeneck, Linda

publication date

  • December 2013

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