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ColonCancerCheck primary care invitation pilot project: family physician perceptions


Objective — To determine family physician perspectives regarding the acceptability and effectiveness of 2 interventions—a targeted, mailed invitation for screening to patients, and family physician audit-feedback reports—and on the colorectal cancer (CRC) screening program generally. This information will be used to guide program strategies for increasing screening uptake.

Design — Qualitative study.

Setting — Ontario.

Participants — Family physicians (n=65).

Methods — Seven 1-hour focus groups were conducted with family physicians using teleconferencing and Web-based technologies. Responses were elicited regarding family physicians' perspectives on the mailing of invitations to patients, the content and design of the audit-feedback reports, the effect of participation in the pilot project on daily practice, and overall CRC screening program function.

Main Findings — Key themes included strong support for both interventions and for the CRC screening program generally. Moderate support was found for direct mailing of fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) kits. Participants identified potential pitfalls if interventions were implemented outside of patient enrolment model practices. Participants expressed relatively strong support for colonoscopy as a CRC screening test but relatively weak support for FOBT.

Conclusion — Although the proposed interventions to increase the uptake of CRC screening were highly endorsed, concerns about their applicability to non-patient enrolment model practices and the current lack of physician support for FOBT will need to be addressed to optimize intervention and program effectiveness. This study is highly relevant to other public health programs planning organized CRC screening programs.



Tinmouth J, Ritvo P, McGregor SE, Guglietti C, Green J, Claus D, Levitt C, Paszat LF, Rabeneck L. Can Fam Physician. 2012; 58(10):e570-7.

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