Effectiveness of a decision aid for promoting colorectal cancer screening in Spain: A randomized trial

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Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) screening has shown to reduce incidence and mortality rates, and therefore is widely recommended for people above 50 years-old. However, despite the implementation of population-based screening programs in several countries, uptake rates are still low. Decision aids (DAs) may help patients to make informed decisions about CRC screening. Methods: We performed a randomized controlled trial to assess the effectiveness of a DA developed to promote CRC screening, with patients from two primary care centers in Spain who never had underwent CRC screening. Contrary to center B (n = 24), Center A (n = 83) attended patients from an area where the population-based screening program was not implemented at that moment. Outcome measures were decisional conflict, knowledge of the disease and available screening options, intention to uptake the test, and concordance between patients' goals/concerns and intention. Results: In center A, there were significant differences favoring the DA in decisional conflict (p < 0.001) and knowledge (p < 0.001). The absolute differences favoring DA group in intention to undergo fecal occult blood test (10.5%) and colonoscopy (13.7%) were significant only before correction for attenuation. In center B the differences were significant only for knowledge (p < 0.001). Patients' goals and concerns regarding the screening did not significantly predict their intention, and therefore we could not calculate a measure of concordance between the two constructs. Conclusions: A DA improved the decisional process of participants who had never been invited to participate in the Spanish public CRC screening program, replicating previous results in this field. Future research is needed to identify subgroups that could benefit more from these interventions. Trial registration: International Standard Registered Clinical/social Study Number: ISRCTN98108615 (Retrospectively registered on 27 December 2018).




Perestelo-Perez, L., Rivero-Santana, A., Torres-Castaño, A., Ramos-Garcia, V., Alvarez-Perez, Y., Gonzalez-Hernandez, N., … Serrano-Aguilar, P. (2019). Effectiveness of a decision aid for promoting colorectal cancer screening in Spain: A randomized trial. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 19(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12911-019-0739-6

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