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Faculty & Staff Honors

Rutgers Instructor Receives NCI Grant to Study Technology-Driven Colorectal Cancer Screening Intervention

Dr. Stacy N. Davis, Instructor at the Rutgers School of Public Health received a two-year, $100,000 grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The purpose of the grant-funded project is to examine the effectiveness of a technology-driven educational intervention on repeat colorectal cancer screening in medically underserved populations.

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[Photo: Dr. Stacy N. Davis]

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Medically underserved populations experience a disproportionate burden of CRC mortality. Fecal immunochemical test (FIT) is a simple, easy to do, and widely accessible screening tool that helps to decrease CRC mortality disparities. However, the effectiveness of FIT to reduce CRC mortality depends heavily on adherence to annual testing. A novel approach to encourage repeat annual FIT is a technology-driven low cost mobile health (mHealth) educational intervention. mHealth interventions have been shown to lead to behavior change in a variety diseases; however its use to facilitate annual CRC screening with FIT has not been studied. The goal of Davis’ grant is to explore the efficacy of an innovative, low cost, educational, evidence-based and theory-based mHealth intervention to promote adherence to the annual FIT in a medically underserved population.

During the first part of the study, a series of educational, targeted, and actionable mHealth messages will be developed. The second part of the study will focus on the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of the Wired for Colorectal Cancer Screening (CRCS) intervention to educate and prompt patients to repeat FIT. Successful completion of this research will provide preliminary information on feasibility, acceptability, efficacy, usability and utility of a technology solution for promoting repeat annual colorectal cancer screening with FIT in a diverse sample of medically underserved patients at community clinics and federally qualified health centers.

“Successful completion of this study will provide preliminary evidence for a larger definitive trial of mHealth interventions to increase repeat CRC screening with FIT” said Davis. “We want to show that a mHealth intervention can be easily implemented in community clinics, be used with existing patient reminder systems, and positively influence health behaviors of diverse patients.”