Background: Bowel cancer is the third most common cause of cancer death worldwide. Bowel screening has been shown to reduce mortality and primary care interventions have been successful in increasing uptake of screening. Using evidence-based theory to inform the development of such interventions has been shown to increase their effectiveness. This study aimed to develop and refine a brief evidence-based intervention for eligible individuals whom have not responded to their last bowel screening invitation (non-responders), for opportunistic use by primary care providers during routine consultations.
Methods: The development of a brief intervention involving a conversation between primary care providers and non-responders was informed by a multi-faceted model comprising: research team workshop and meetings to draw on expertise; evidence from the literature regarding barriers to bowel screening and effective strategies to promote informed participation; relevant psychological theory, and intervention development and behaviour change guidance. Qualitative telephone interviews with 1) bowel screening stakeholders and 2) patient non-responders explored views regarding the acceptability of the intervention to help refine its content and process.
Results: The intervention provides a theory and evidence-based tool designed to be incorporated within current primary care practice. Bowel screening stakeholders were supportive of the intervention and recognised the importance of the role of primary care. Interviews highlighted the importance of brevity and simplicity to incorporate the intervention into routine clinical care. Non-responders similarly found the intervention acceptable, valuing a holistic approach to their care. Moreover, they expected their primary care provider to encourage participation.
Conclusions: A theory-based brief conversation for use in a primary care consultation was acceptable to bowel screening stakeholders and potential recipients, reflecting a health promoting primary care ethos. Findings indicate that it is appropriate to test the intervention in primary care in a feasibility study.
- Behaviour change
- Bowel screening
- Primary care