A physician-initiated intervention to increase colorectal cancer screening in Chinese patients

Angela Sun, Janice Y Tsoh, Elisa K. Tong, Joyce Cheng, Edward A. Chow, Susan L. Stewart, Tung T. Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Among Chinese American individuals, only approximately 42% of cases of colorectal cancer (CRC) are diagnosed at an early stage, possibly because these patients are less likely than non-Hispanic white individuals to undergo CRC screening. METHODS: Primary care physicians (PCPs) were recruited from a local independent practice association serving Chinese Americans and randomized into early-intervention and delayed-intervention groups. PCPs in the early-intervention group received continuing medical education (CME), and their patients received an intervention mailer, consisting of a letter with the PCP's recommendation, a bilingual educational booklet, and a fecal occult blood test (FOBT) kit in year 1. PCPs in the delayed-intervention group received no CME, and their patients received the mailers in year 2. RESULTS: A total of 20 PCPs were assigned to the early-intervention and 22 PCPs to the delayed-intervention group. A total of 3120 patients of these participating PCPs who had undergone CRC screening that was due during the study period were included. A total of 915 mailers were sent in year 1 and 830 mailers were sent in year 2. FOBT screening rates increased from 26.7% at baseline to 58.5% in year 1 in the early-intervention group versus 19.6% at baseline to 22.2% in year 1 in the delayed-intervention group (P<.0001). The overall effect size of the mailer intervention with or without CME was estimated as a difference of 26.6 percentage points (95% confidence interval, 22.0-31.2 percentage points) from baseline compared with usual care. The intervention was found to have no impact on rates of colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy. CONCLUSIONS: The results of the current pilot study demonstrated that a mailer including educational materials and FOBT kits can increase CRC screening rates with or without CME for the PCPs. Cancer 2018;124:1568-75.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1568-1575
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018


  • Chinese
  • colorectal cancer screening
  • fecal occult blood test (FOBT)/fecal immunochemical test (FIT)
  • physician network
  • provider initiated

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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