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Grant Details

Grant Number: 7R03CA270837-02 Interpret this number
Primary Investigator: Miller, Carrie
Organization: Virginia Commonwealth University
Project Title: Developing a Young Adult-Mediated Intervention to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screening Among Rural Screening Age-Eligible Adults
Fiscal Year: 2023


PROJECT SUMMARY Colorectal cancer (CRC) remains the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. Recent studies have highlighted several geographic, primarily rural, “hotspots” for excess CRC incidence and mortality. One driver of these disparities between rural and non-rural populations is low CRC screening rates in rural areas. Thus, novel methods for improving screening and early detection in these areas are needed. The long-term objective of this research is to develop an intervention leveraging “upward communications” to improve CRC screening uptake in rural populations. The proposed R03 specific aims will help achieve this objective by garnering the preliminary information needed to develop a young adult-mediated intervention whereby a younger family member is taught to encourage their older family member to engage in CRC screening. Such an intervention could not only improve screening uptake among age-eligible adults, but could also improve cancer screening knowledge, awareness, and readiness among young adults themselves living in rural settings. The ORBIT model will guide the process of deliberatively developing and optimizing the intervention approach. Aims 1 and 2 will use mixed methods to collect formative data to identify critical intervention components. To complete Aim 1, survey data from n=150 younger (25-44 years old) and n=150 older (45-75 years old) adults living in rural communities will be collected. In Aim 2, we will develop and evaluate intervention components to facilitate effective upward communications about CRC prevention and screening using n=9 focus groups. We will iterate and modify intervention components based on focus group feedback. The results from Aims 1 and 2 will guide the refinement of intervention content and design. The impact of the novel intervention will be assessed via a single- arm, pre-test post-test trial design (n=15 adult child/parent dyads) in Aim 3. Tapping into and leveraging family members may be a particularly salient channel for culturally appropriate cancer communications in rural populations and may help address the unmet needs of CRC hotspot residents. Collectively, the proposed research will produce an upward communications intervention that has the potential to improve CRC health literacy and screening uptake in rural settings.



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