Patients who have never completed a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) may benefit from phone-based discussions about the importance of colon cancer screening before receiving the FIT in the mail. Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States, and screening rates are disproportionately low among Latinxs. In 2015, only 63% of eligible adults, and 50% of Latinxs, were up to date with colorectal cancer screening recommendations. Mailed FIT outreach programs have been shown to improve colorectal cancer screening rates in community health centers, with improvements ranging from 22% – 45%. Despite the widespread use of primers and reminders for mailed FIT outreach programs, data are sparse on how these communications influence FIT completion rates. Data from our previous evaluation of mailed FIT outreach showed that adults who have never completed a FIT have a much lower FIT return rate than adults who have (17.1 vs 45.1; p < 0.01). As part of the Participatory Research to Advance Colon Cancer Prevention (PROMPT), which involved a partnership with a Los Angeles-based community health center that provides medical services to 300,000 patients annually (82% are Latinx), we tested whether patients who had never completed a FIT could benefit from phone-based discussions about the importance of colorectal cancer screening. Eligible patients were 50-74, due for their screening, and assigned to a wedge 1 clinic (n = 8 clinics; 6,872 patients). A total of 2,825 patients had no electronic health record evidence of having completed a prior FIT. These patients were randomized to receive the text primer (n = 1,622) or live call primer (n = 1,203). All live primer calls were delivered by bilingual health education staff trained by the research team. Patients were then mailed a FIT kit with an introductory letter and wordless instructions on completing the FIT, followed by two automated phone call reminders and live reminder calls delivered by the care team. We used logistic regression to compare the effectiveness of live call vs text message primers on FIT completion rates 3 months after the FIT mailing. Randomized patients (who had never completed the FIT) had a mean age of 58 years (SD, 6.0), 51% were female, and 80% Latinx. In the text primer arm, the overall FIT completion rate was 14.7%, and 14.6% among those who were successfully delivered the text primer. In the live call arm, the overall FIT completion rate was 18.8%, and 30.0% among those who had a discussion with health education staff. Controlling for age, preliminary analyses indicate that patients who received a live call were 1.35 times more likely to complete a FIT within 3 months of the mailing than those who received a text message primer (OR=1.35 [1.10, 1.64]). Live phone call primers, delivered before the FIT is mailed, boost screening rates among those who have never completed a FIT.

Note: This abstract was not presented at the conference.

Citation Format: Jamie Thompson, Denis Nyongesa, Amanda Petrik, Melissa Castillo, Gloria Coronado. Do phone-based discussions about the importance of colorectal cancer screening delivered before a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) mailing improve return rates? [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the Twelfth AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved; 2019 Sep 20-23; San Francisco, CA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2020;29(6 Suppl_2):Abstract nr C129.