Colorectal cancer screening: innovation in understanding screening behaviour, developing interventions and disseminating research results

  • K. Robb
  • L. McGregor
  • B. Kirkøen
  • T. Gavaruzzi
  • M. Kotzur
  • R. O'Carroll


Aims: This symposium will: • Compare cancer screening behaviours (breast, bowel, cervical) using quantitative and qualitative data to identify new approaches to improve colorectal cancer (CRC) screening uptake • Explore the acceptance and experience of newly implemented CRC screening tests (faecal immunochemical test and flexible sigmoidoscopy) • Report innovative experimental findings on responses to narrative information about CRC screening • Investigate the potential for introducing ‘Patient Navigation’ as an intervention to address barriers to CRC screening uptake • Discuss how our latest findings can be used to inform further research and, where appropriate, translated into practice Rationale: Cancer screening programmes have the capacity to significantly reduce death rates through prevention and/or early detection; however their impact relies on eligible people making the decision to actively participate. Colorectal cancer is one of the most common causes of cancer death in the world and with screening uptake remaining suboptimal, it provides an important opportunity to apply health psychology knowledge. Summary: This symposium will provide perspectives on CRC screening behaviour from Norway, Italy and the UK. The session will begin with unique research looking to understand low CRC screening uptake within the wider behavioural context (i.e. comparisons to breast and cervical screening) before moving to considerations of psychological responses to newly implemented cancer screening tests. The focus will then move to interventions, firstly pre-intervention experimental work considering the use of narratives as a way to engage screening invitees and, secondly, the application of patient navigation as a way to overcome barriers to participation. In the final, interactive sections, a case study will be provided of how we can disseminate our research and involve future users in developing interventions before group work seeks to generate ideas for future research and dissemination. These innovative contributions will be integrated by our Discussant to complete the Symposium.