This project seeks to identify and recommend ways to scale emerging and evidence-based practices that can be employed to close disparities in follow-up colonoscopy rates. Greater adoption of innovative stool-based tests for colorectal cancer (CRC) screening could help close persistent screening gaps, especially among underserved populations. The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations state that stool-based colorectal cancer (CRC) screening tests are appropriate for average-risk individuals. However, USPSTF also emphasizes that abnormal test results should always be followed up with a colonoscopy. Unfortunately, many patients fail to obtain a follow-up colonoscopy after receiving an abnormal result from a stool-based test. We documented this in our recent NEHI report, Addressing Persistent Disparities in Colorectal Cancer Screening Among Racially and Ethnically Diverse Populations.
Unique to this project is its focus on bringing together the different sectors that can play a role in closing these disparities. The project will have three phases: 1) a literature scan of peer-reviewed research and gray literature; 2) qualitative interviews with cross-sector stakeholders that play a role in closing disparities; and 3) convening a coalition of said stakeholders under Chatham House rules to review these findings and recommend ways to scale interventions to close the gap in follow-up colonoscopies. The final report is expected to be released in March 2024.