Colorectal Cancer: A Collaborative Approach to Improve Education and Screening in a Rural Population

Marsha Woodall, DNP, MBA, RN; Mary DeLetter, PhD, RN


Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and second leading cause of cancer death for men and women in the United States. Although early detection and diagnosis greatly affect survival rates, only about half of the U.S. population participates in screening.

Objectives: The purpose of this project was to implement community-based CRC education and screening. Outcomes included CRC knowledge, CRC screening kit return rate, and rate of positive screening results. 

Methods: Partnering with a community hospital, CRC educational sessions and free screening opportunities were provided for 193 local city government employees. CRC knowledge was assessed before and after education with the Knowledge Assessment Survey. A paired t test indicated significant improvement in mean CRC knowledge.

Findings: More than half of the participants elected to take home fecal immunochemical test kits. Of the 29 participants who submitted their screening kits for evaluation, eight had positive results and received referral recommendations. All participants were notified of their screening results. The community-based CRC project was effective in improving CRC knowledge and screening participation.

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