Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the UK. Screening is key to early detection. The Scottish programme of colorectal cancer screening is running successfully, and involves all adults aged between 50 and 74 years being invited to post back a faecal sample for testing every 2 years. However, screening uptake is sub-optimal: for example rates for the period November 2009 to October 2011 ranged from just 39% for males living in the most deprived areas to 67% for least deprived females. Recent research has shown that asking people to consider the emotional consequences of not participating in screening (anticipated regret) can lead to a significant increase in screening uptake.
O'Carroll, R. E., Steele, R. J. C., Libby, G., Brownlee, L., & Chambers, J. A. (2013). Anticipated regret to increase uptake of colorectal cancer screening in Scotland (ARTICS): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. BMC Public Health, 13, 849. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-13-849