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Celebrate 10 Years with Cancer Control P.L.A.N.E.T.

Increasing Cancer Screening: Small Media Targeting Clients

Small media include videos and printed materials such as letters, brochures, and newsletters. These materials can be used to inform and motivate people to be screened for cancer. They can provide information tailored to specific individuals or targeted to general audiences.

Summary of Task Force Recommendations and Findings

The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends interventions that use small media based on strong evidence of their effectiveness in increasing:

  • Breast cancer screening by mammography
  • Cervical cancer screening by Pap test
  • Colorectal cancer screening by fecal occult blood test (FOBT)

The Task Force finds insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of using small media to increase colorectal cancer screening by flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, or double contrast barium enema because no studies evaluating these screening procedures were identified.

Task Force Finding

Results from the Systematic Reviews

Breast Cancer

Nineteen studies qualified for the systematic review, two were excluded from the final analysis.
  • Proportion of study participants completing screening by mammography: median increase of 7.0 percentage points (21 study arms)
  • Interventions were effective when tailored: 7.0 percentage point median increase (7 study arms)
  • Interventions also were effective when untailored: 5.3 percentage point median increase (14 study arms)

Reviewed studies were conducted in both rural and urban communities and among different racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.

Cervical Cancer

Twelve studies (including 15 study arms) qualified for the systematic review.

  • Proportion of study participants completing screening by Pap test: median increase of 4.5 percentage points (12 study arms).
  • Tailoring was either less effective or, at best, no more effective than untailored interventions. Questions remain about the value of tailoring small media interventions to increase cervical cancer screening rates (2 studies).

Reviewed studies were conducted in both rural and urban communities and among different racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.

Colorectal Cancer

Seven studies (including 9 study arms) qualified for the systematic review (one included a tailored intervention).

  • Proportion of study participants completing screening by FOBT: median increase of 12.7 percentage points (8 study arms)
  • None of the qualifying studies addressed flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, or double contrast barium enema screening, so the findings may not apply to these.

Reviewed studies were conducted among different racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.

These findings were based on a systematic review of all available studies, conducted on behalf of the Task Force by a team of specialists in systematic review methods, and in research, practice and policy related to cancer prevention and control.

image of planet Find Research-Tested Intervention Programs (RTIPs) about the use of small media interventions to increase breast External Web Site Icon, cervical External Web Site Icon, and colorectal External Web Site Icon cancer screening (What is an RTIP?).

Supporting Materials

Publications

Baron RC, Rimer BK, Breslow RA, et al. Client-directed interventions to increase community demand for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening: a systematic review. Adobe PDF File [PDF - 1.05 MB] Am J Prev Med 2008;35(1S): S34-55.

Task Force on Community Preventive Services. Recommendations for client- and provider-directed interventions to increase breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening. Adobe PDF File [PDF - 74 kB] Am J Prev Med 2008;35(1S): S21-5.

Read other Community Guide publications about Cancer Prevention and Control in our library.


*PDF includes all of the information available and will not be updated.



Disclaimer

The findings and conclusions on this page are those of the Community Preventive Services Task Force and do not necessarily represent those of CDC. Task Force evidence-based recommendations are not mandates for compliance or spending. Instead, they provide information and options for decision makers and stakeholders to consider when determining which programs, services, and policies best meet the needs, preferences, available resources, and constraints of their constituents.

Sample Citation

The content of publications of the Guide to Community Preventive Services is in the public domain. Citation as to source, however, is appreciated. Sample citation: Guide to Community Preventive Services. Increasing cancer screening: small media targeting clients. www.thecommunityguide.org/cancer/screening/client-oriented/SmallMedia.html. Last updated: MM/DD/YYYY.

Review completed: December 2005