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Culturally-tailored patient program can improve rate of colorectal cancer screening among Hispanic adults

  • Colorectal cancer screening rates are low in Hispanic adults, but the rate nearly doubled in an experimental program in Rhode Island that helped patients navigate the medical system, says researcher Saied Calvino, MD (above).

    Individuals first received an introductory letter in Spanish, followed by a phone call from a culturally competent, Spanish-speaking patient navigator. Some navigators helped patients with difficulties with interpretation services, scheduling, time off work, transportation, or completing bowel preparation before a colonoscopy.

    The day prior to the individual’s scheduled colonoscopy, the patient navigator contacted the individual by phone to confirm their appointment and transportation, address any new concerns, and stress the importance of adhering to the bowel preparation regimen.

    Over a 28-month period, 698 individuals in Rhode Island who were primarily Spanish speakers were enrolled in the program. The colonoscopy completion rate was approximately 85%, with no difference between females and males. This compares with the nationwide rate of 40% to 55% among Hispanic adults and a lower rate of screening among Hispanic men compared with women.

    See “Program May Boost Colorectal Screenings for Hispanic Adults and Reduce Gender Disparities” by Ashley Gallagher on the Pharmacy Times website (February 8, 2022)

    See the abstract of the scientific paper “Decreasing colorectal cancer screening disparities: A culturally tailored patient navigation program for Hispanic patients” by Carl S. Winkler et al.

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