Invitation strategies for colorectal cancer screening programmes: The impact of an advance notification letter

Carlo Senore, Andrea Ederle, Giovanni DePretis, Corrado Magnani, Debora Canuti, Silvia Deandrea, Manuel Zorzi, Alessandra Barca, Piero Bestagini, Katia Faitini, Luigi Bisanti, Coralba Casale, Antonio Ferro, Paolo GiorgiRossi, Francesco Quadrino, Giorgia Fiorina, Arianna Capuano, Nereo Segnan, Alberto Fantin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: To estimate the impact of an advance notification letter on participation in sigmoidoscopy (FS) and fecal immunochemical test (FIT) screening. Methods: Eligible subjects, invited in 3 Italian population based programmes using FS and in 5 using FIT, were randomised (1:1:1), within GP, to: A) standard invitation letter; B) advance notification followed after 1. month by the standard invitation; and C) B. +. indication to contact the general practitioner (GP) to get advice about the decision to be screened. We calculated the 9-month attendance and the incremental cost of each strategy. We conducted a phone survey to assess GP's utilization and predictors of participation. Results: The advance notification was associated with a 20% increase in the attendance among 15,655 people invited for FS (B vs A - RR: 1.17, 95% CI: 1.10-1.25; C vs A - RR: 1.19, 95% CI: 1.12-1.27); the incremental cost ranged between 10 and 9 Euros. Participation in FIT screening (N. = 23,543) was increased only with simple pre-notification (B vs A - RR: 1.06, 95% CI: 1.02-1.10); the incremental cost was 22.5 Euros. GP consultation rate was not increased in group C. Conclusions: An advance notification represents a cost-effective strategy to increase participation in FS screening; its impact on the response to FIT screening was limited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-111
Number of pages6
JournalPreventive Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2015


  • CRC screening
  • FIT
  • Participation
  • Sigmoidoscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology
  • Medicine(all)


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