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Adoption and Implementation of Evidence-Based Colorectal Cancer Screening Interventions Among Cancer Control Program Grantees, 2009–2015


Purpose and objectives

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Although effective CRC screening tests exist, CRC screening is underused. Use of evidence-based interventions (EBIs) to increase CRC screening could save many lives. The Colorectal Cancer Control Program (CRCCP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides a unique opportunity to study EBI adoption, implementation, and maintenance. We assessed 1) the number of grantees implementing 5 EBIs during 2011 through 2015, 2) grantees' perceived ease of implementing each EBI, and 3) grantees' reasons for stopping EBI implementation.

Intervention approach

CDC funded 25 states and 4 tribal entities to participate in the CRCCP. Grantees used CRCCP funds to 1) provide CRC screening to individuals who were uninsured and low-income, and 2) promote CRC screening at the population level. One component of the CRC screening promotion effort was implementing 1 or more of 5 EBIs to increase CRC screening rates.

Evaluation methods

We surveyed CRCCP grantees about EBI implementation with an online survey in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2015. We conducted descriptive analyses of closed-ended items and coded open-text responses for themes related to barriers and facilitators to EBI implementation.


Most grantees implemented small media (≥25) or client reminders (≥21) or both all program years. Although few grantees reported implementation of EBIs such as reducing structural barriers (n = 14) and provider reminders (n = 9) in 2011, implementation of these EBIs increased over time. Implementation of provider assessment and feedback increased over time, but was reported by the fewest grantees (n = 17) in 2015. Reasons for discontinuing EBIs included funding ending, competing priorities, or limited staff capacity.

Implications for public health

CRCCP grantees implemented EBIs across all years studied, yet implementation varied by EBI and did not get easier with time. Our findings can inform long-term planning for EBIs with state and tribal public health institutions and their partners.

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