The WWAMI RHRC congratulates our colleague, Allison Cole, MD, MPH, and her team for their $2.9 million NIH R01 grant award, “Rural Community Support for Colonoscopy.” The study will trial the effectiveness of methods to follow up on positive fecal occult blood tests (FIT) to ensure patients complete colonoscopies and will help the highest risk low-income rural populations increase colonoscopy completion.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Appropriate screening can reduce CRC mortality, including colonoscopy, which is recommended for patients with a positive FIT result. Barriers to colonoscopy include:
- lack of local providers/long travel times
- difficulty getting time off work, arranging childcare and transportation
- high out of pocket procedure costs
- lack of knowledge about the procedure and its role in CRC screening and early detection
- fear of the procedure and of CRC
Dr. Cole states that this project, in partnership with the Washington Association for Community Health and the Rural Health Council, “will develop a sustainable and scalable model for program implementation that has potential to benefit diverse rural populations nationally.”