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Evidence based risk information on colorectal cancer screening increased informed choices

This week's British Medical Journal investigates effect of evidence based risk information on 'informed choice' in colorectal cancer screening.

News image

Dr Anke Steckelberg and colleagues from Germany compared the effect of evidence based information on risk with that of standard information on informed choice in screening for colorectal cancer.

The team performed a randomized controlled trial with 6 months’ follow-up.

The research team evaluated 1577 insured people who were members of the target group for colorectal cancer screening.
44% in the intervention group made an informed choice
British Medical Journal

The interventions included a brochure with evidence based risk information on colorectal cancer screening, and 2 optional interactive internet modules on risk and diagnostic tests.

Official information leaflet of the German colorectal cancer screening program.

The team's main outcome measure included 'informed choice', comprising 'knowledge', 'attitude', and 'combination of actual and planned uptake'.

Secondary outcomes were 'knowledge' and 'combination of actual and planned uptake'.

The research team assessed knowledge and attitude after 6 weeks and combination of actual and planned uptake of screening after 6 months.

The team found that the response rate for return of both questionnaires was 92%.

The researchers observed that 44% of participants in the intervention group made an informed choice, compared with 13% in the control group.

More intervention group participants had 'good knowledge'.

The research team observed that a 'positive attitude' towards colorectal screening prevailed in both groups but was significantly lower in the intervention group.

The intervention had no effect on the combination of actual and planned uptake.

Dr Steckelberg's team concluded, "Evidence based risk information on colorectal cancer screening increased informed choices and improved knowledge, with little change in attitudes."

"The intervention did not affect the combination of actual and planned uptake of screening."

BMJ 2011; 342:d3193
13 June 2011

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