Patients More Likely to Return Colon Cancer Screening Kits When Reminded by Live Phone Calls — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
October 12, 2017

Patients More Likely to Return Colon Cancer Screening Kits When Reminded by Live Phone Calls

By Amy Orciari Herman

Edited by Susan Sadoughi, MD, and Richard Saitz, MD, MPH, FACP, DFASAM

For patients who are overdue in completing a home fecal immunochemical testing (FIT) kit, live phone call reminders may be more effective than text messages or other reminders in getting them to complete the test. The findings appear in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Over 2000 adults who were mailed a FIT kit but did not complete and return it within 3 weeks were randomized to one of seven types of reminders:

  • Mailed letter

  • Automated phone calls

  • Live phone calls

  • Text messages

  • Reminder letter plus live calls

  • Both automated and live calls

  • Text messages plus live calls

About one-fourth of all participants returned their FIT kits within 6 months. The return rate was highest for patients who received live phone call reminders alone (32%), and was lowest among those who received text messages alone (17%) or mailed letters or automated calls alone (about 23%).

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