SMARTscreen: A randomised trial of patient narrative messaging in general practice to increase participation in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program

The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP) currently sends screening kits to all Australians every two years between 50 and 70 years of age. The kits are simple to use and effective, however only 42% of Australians complete the test.

Given Australia and New Zealand have the highest rates of bowel cancer worldwide, interventions to increase uptake of the NBCSP are very important.

This study is funded by the Victorian Cancer Agency and a collaboration with the University of Melbourne, Cancer Council Victoria, Western Victoria Primary Health Network, Pen CS and Healthily.

Using a co-design approach with consumers, an SMS was developed incorporating a video message, an endorsement from the person’s GP, instructions for completing the NBCSP kit and more information about the program which was sent to people between 50 and 60 (the lowest screeners) who were due to receive their kit.

The SMARTscreen trial is underway and will be completed in July 2022.

Project Lead

  • Dr Jennifer McIntosh

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