Increasing uptake of FIT colorectal screening: protocol for the TEMPO randomised controlled trial testing a suggested deadline and a planning tool

Kathryn A. Robb*, Marie Kotzur, Ben Young, Colin McCowan, Gareth J. Hollands, Audrey Irvine, Sara Macdonald, Alex McConnachie, Ronan E. O'Carroll, Rory C. O'Connor, Robert J.C. Steele

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Introduction Screening can reduce deaths from colorectal cancer (CRC). Despite high levels of public enthusiasm, participation rates in population CRC screening programmes internationally remain persistently below target levels. Simple behavioural interventions such as completion goals and planning tools may support participation among those inclined to be screened but who fail to act on their intentions. This study aims to evaluate the impact of: (a) a suggested deadline for return of the test; (b) a planning tool and (c) the combination of a deadline and planning tool on return of faecal immunochemical tests (FITs) for CRC screening.

Methods and analysis A randomised controlled trial of 40 000 adults invited to participate in the Scottish Bowel Screening Programme will assess the individual and combined impact of the interventions. Trial delivery will be integrated into the existing CRC screening process. The Scottish Bowel Screening Programme mails FITs to people aged 50–74 with brief instructions for completion and return. Participants will be randomised to one of eight groups: (1) no intervention; (2) suggested deadline (1 week); (3) suggested deadline (2 weeks); (4) suggested deadline (4 weeks); (5) planning tool; (6) planning tool plus suggested deadline (1 week); (7) planning tool plus suggested deadline (2 weeks); (8) planning tool plus suggested deadline (4 weeks). The primary outcome is return of the correctly completed FIT at 3 months. To understand the cognitive and behavioural mechanisms and to explore the acceptability of both interventions, we will survey (n=2000) and interview (n=40) a subgroup of trial participants.

Ethics and dissemination The study has been approved by the National Health Service South Central—Hampshire B Research Ethics Committee (ref. 19/SC/0369). The findings will be disseminated through conference presentations and publication in peer-reviewed journals. Participants can request a summary of the results.

Trial registration number clinicaltrials.govNCT05408169.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere066136
Number of pages9
JournalBMJ Open
Volume13
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2023

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