Improving Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates in Rural Northeastern Kansans: Impact of Low-Cost, Multicomponent Interventions

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Davis, Samantha
Rempe, Amanda
Zimmerman, Brenda
Washburn University
School of Nursing
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Rural residents in Kansas are less likely to participate in established screening modalities, therefore they are more likely to experience poorer outcomes from colorectal cancer (CRC). Despite effective screening modalities, CRC is the second leading cause of cancer deaths affecting both men and women in the United States. This quality improvement project aimed to increase CRC screening rates utilizing low-cost, multicomponent interventions. The studied population was 50- to 75-year-old patients who received primary care at two predominantly rural health systems set at various locations throughout northeast Kansas. The Health Belief Model guided the choice of evidence-based interventions utilized within the project framework of the Iowa Model. Interventions consist of two components: a) an educational brochure and informative posters and b) clinic process changes. Randomized medical record audits assisted in the identification of barriers in established clinic processes and documentation errors. Low-cost multicomponent interventions were shown to offer an inexpensive and effective way to improve colorectal cancer screening rates in rural areas. Project objectives were partially met as there was an increase in colorectal cancer screening rates at multiple clinics. However, the project timeline did not allow for the increases projected to meet the project teams goal. Further research of a longitudinal nature is recommended to build upon the findings of this project. Limitations of the project included rural geographical location and solitary use of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention multimedia. Implications for further research include the use of a standardized screening protocol for clinic staff and staff education on appropriate colorectal cancer screening documentation at each clinic.