Clinic Factors Associated With Mailed Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) Completion: The Difference-Making Role of Support Staff

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2022
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American English
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Annals of Family Medicine
Abstract

Purpose: Mailed fecal immunochemical test (FIT) programs can facilitate colorectal cancer (CRC) screening. We sought to identify modifiable, clinic-level factors that distinguish primary care clinics with higher vs lower FIT completion rates in response to a centralized mailed FIT program.

Methods: We used baseline observational data from 15 clinics within a single urban federally qualified health center participating in a pragmatic trial to optimize a mailed FIT program. Clinic-level data included interviews with leadership using a guide informed by the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) and FIT completion rates. We used template analysis to identify explanatory factors and configurational comparative methods to identify specific combinations of clinic-level conditions that uniquely distinguished clinics with higher and lower FIT completion rates.

Results: We interviewed 39 clinic leaders and identified 58 potential explanatory factors representing clinic workflows and the CFIR inner setting domain. Clinic-level FIT completion rates ranged from 30% to 56%. The configurational model for clinics with higher rates (≥37%) featured any 1 of the following 3 factors related to support staff: (1) adding back- or front-office staff in past 12 months, (2) having staff help patients resolve barriers to CRC screening, and (3) having staff hand out FITs/educate patients. The model for clinics with lower rates involved the combined absence of these same 3 factors.

Conclusions: Three factors related to support staff differentiated clinics with higher and lower FIT completion rates. Adding nonphysician support staff and having those staff provide enabling services might help clinics optimize mailed FIT screening programs.

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Davis MM, Schneider JL, Petrik AF, et al. Clinic Factors Associated With Mailed Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) Completion: The Difference-Making Role of Support Staff. Ann Fam Med. 2022;20(2):123-129. doi:10.1370/afm.2772
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Annals of Family Medicine
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