Remote educational outreach involving oncology nurse–developed videos and follow-up navigator phone calls increased breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening adherence compared to usual care in females obtaining community care in rural Ohio and Indiana locations, according to study findings published in JAMA Network Open.

ONS member Victoria L. Champion, PhD, RN, led an interprofessional team that included other oncology nurses to create and deliver an educational intervention to increase cancer screening adherence among rural patients. For the randomized clinical trial, Champion and colleagues recruited 963 females aged 50–74 years receiving community-based care in rural Indiana and Ohio who were not completely up to date on their recommended cancer screenings. They randomly assigned eligible participants to one of three study groups: DVD intervention only, DVD with navigation, or usual care.

For the intervention, Champion and colleagues developed an interactive DVD that provided viewers with tailored messages based on their responses to prompts. The messages gave patients information specific to their age; family cancer history; perceived risk of developing the specific cancers; barriers, benefits, and self-efficacy to adhering to screening behaviors; and the process for scheduling and completing their cancer screenings.

Twelve months after the intervention, the researchers reviewed participants’ medical records to identify adherence to breast, cervical, colorectal, and other cancer screening recommendations. In total, 25%, 29%, and 49% of the patients in the usual care, DVD alone, and DVD with navigation groups, respectively, were up to date on the study’s three cancer screenings and 10%, 15%, and 30%, respectively, were up to date on all of their recommended cancer screenings. A comparative analysis showed that patients in the DVD with navigation group were nearly six times as likely as those in the usual care group to be up to date on all screenings and three times as likely as those in the DVD alone group.

“First, it is possible and effective to combine interventions that support breast, cervical and colon cancer screening yielding a holistic approach to early detection of cancer,” Champion said. “Second, we have technology available to overcome previous barriers such as rurality and access to care. Finally, this holistic approach to cancer prevention and screening could be adapted to other behaviors that would also serve to reduce our national cancer burden.”