Efficacy of a Telehealth Intervention on Colonoscopy Uptake when Cost is a Barrier: The Family CARE Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial. Academic Article uri icon


  • We tested the efficacy of a remote tailored intervention (TeleCARE) compared to a mailed educational brochure for improving colonoscopy uptake among at-risk relatives of colorectal cancer patients and examined subgroup differences based on participant reported cost barriers.Family members of colorectal cancer patients who were not up-to-date with colonoscopy were randomly assigned as family units to TeleCARE (N=232) or an educational brochure (N=249). At the 9-month follow-up, a cost resource letter listing resources for free or reduced-cost colonoscopy was mailed to participants who had reported cost barriers and remained non-adherent. Rates of medically-verified colonoscopy at the 15-month follow-up were compared based on group assignment and within group stratification by cost barriers.In intent-to-treat analysis, 42.7% of participants in TeleCARE and 24.1% of participants in the educational brochure group had a medically-verified colonoscopy [OR = 2.37; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.59 to 3.52]. Cost was identified as a barrier in both groups (TeleCARE = 62.5%; educational brochure = 57.0%). When cost was not a barrier, the TeleCARE group was almost four times as likely as the comparison to have a colonoscopy (OR = 3.66; 95% CI= 1.85 to 7.24). The intervention was efficacious among those who reported cost barriers; the TeleCARE group was nearly twice as likely to have a colonoscopy (OR = 1.99; 95% CI = 1.12 to 3.52).TeleCARE increased colonoscopy regardless of cost barriers.Remote interventions may bolster screening colonoscopy regardless of cost barriers and be more efficacious when cost barriers are absent.Copyright © 2015, American Association for Cancer Research.

publication date

  • June 2015