Publication Abstract

Authors: Zapka JM, Edwards HM, Chollette V, Taplin SH

Title: Follow-up to abnormal cancer screening tests: considering the multilevel context of care.

Journal: Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 23(10):1965-73

Date: 2014 Oct

Abstract: The call for multilevel interventions to improve the quality of follow-up to abnormal cancer screening has been out for a decade, but published work emphasizes individual approaches, and conceptualizations differ regarding the definition of levels. To investigate the scope and methods being undertaken in this focused area of follow-up to abnormal tests (breast, colon, cervical), we reviewed recent literature and grants (2007-2012) funded by the National Cancer Institute. A structured search yielded 16 grants with varying definitions of "follow-up" (e.g., completion of recommended tests, time to diagnosis); most included minority racial/ethnic group participants. Ten grants concentrated on measurement/intervention development and 13 piloted or tested interventions (categories not mutually exclusive). All studies considered patient-level factors and effects. Although some directed interventions at provider levels, few measured group characteristics and effects of interventions on the providers or levels other than the patient. Multilevel interventions are being proposed, but clarity about endpoints, definition of levels, and measures is needed. The differences in the conceptualization of levels and factors that affect practice need empirical exploration, and we need to measure their salient characteristics to advance our understanding of how context affects cancer care delivery in a changing practice and policy environment.