Role of community pharmacies in a population-based colorectal cancer screening program

Nuria Vives, Núria Milà, Gemma Binefa, Noemie Travier, Albert Farre, Carmen Vidal, Maryam Sattari, Guillermo Bagaria, Montse Garcia (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
113 Downloads (Pure)


In Catalonia (Spain), population-based colorectal cancer (CRC) screening offers biennial fecal occult blood testing to men and women aged 50-69 years old. The program is organized in screening hubs, most of which use a pharmacy-based model to distribute and collect fecal immunochemical test (FIT) kits The comprehensive evaluation of CRC screening programs, which include the role and implications of pharmacy involvement, is essential to ensure program quality and identify areas for further improvement. The present study aimed to assess the adherence of community pharmacies to the CRC screening program and to analyze data on FIT kit distribution and collection in the Metropolitan area of Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain). Time to FIT completion was assessed by Kaplan-Meier estimation, and with the log-rank test. A Cox regression model was used to adjust for other variables associated with the completion of FIT such as sex, age, deprivation score index and previous screening behavior. Overall, 82.4% of pharmacies adhered with CRC screening program. Out of 82,902 FIT kits distributed to screening invitees 77,524 completed FIT kits were returned to pharmacies (93.5%) with a participation of 39.8% among the 193,766 invitees. From those who completed a FIT, the median time to return the kit was 3 days. FIT completion time was significantly lower among women, older age, high deprivation score index and previous CRC screening (p < 0.005). Our findings highlight the large involvement of community pharmacists with CRC screening program as well as a high quality in the process of FIT distribution and collection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106420
Number of pages6
JournalPreventive Medicine
Early online date7 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021


  • Colorectal cancer
  • Community pharmacy
  • Mass screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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