Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UC San Francisco Previously Published Works bannerUCSF

Advanced Notification Calls Prior to Mailed Fecal Immunochemical Test in Previously Screened Patients: a Randomized Controlled Trial



Phone calls as part of multimodal fecal immunochemical test (FIT) outreach are effective but resource-intensive. Previous studies of advanced notification calls before FIT mailing have not differentiated patients' prior screening status.


To determine the effectiveness of a phone call preceding mailing of a FIT kit on test completion rate for patients who have completed a prior FIT.


Randomized controlled trial nested within a larger study. All patients were assigned to receive organized mailed FIT outreach in the larger study.


Patients in a safety-net health setting ages 50-75 years old with a previously negative FIT.


Patients were assigned to either receive an advanced notification phone call or no phone call preceding a mailed FIT kit. Both groups received an informational postcard prior to the mailed FIT.

Main measures

The primary outcome was FIT completion rate at 1 year. The secondary outcomes were FIT completion rates at 60, 90, and 180 days, rates stratified by demographic subgroups, and rates according to outcome of the phone call.

Key results

A total of 1645 patients were assigned to advanced notification calls and 1595 were assigned to no call preceding the FIT mailing. Although FIT completion rate was higher at day 60 (55.5% vs. 50.8%, p < 0.01), an advanced notification call did not significantly improve FIT completion at 1 year (70.9% vs. 69.9%, p = 0.52). Of the patients assigned to receive an advanced notification call, 90.5% were spoken with or left a voicemail; patients who were spoken with were more likely to complete a FIT at 1 year compared with patients who were only left a voicemail or could not be left a voicemail (79.9% vs. 69.2% vs. 49.6%, p < 0.01).


Advanced notification phone calls prior to FIT mailing did not improve rates at 1 year for patients with a previously negative FIT.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View