Do financial incentives promote patient adherence to CRC screening? 5 study insights

A study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology investigated whether offering small financial incentives to patients increases colorectal cancer screening compliance.

The researchers identified low-income primary care patients between the ages of 50 and 64 years of age. These patients were assigned to one of three groups: mailed fecal immunochemical test, mailed FIT with a $5 incentive or mailed FIT with a $10 incentive.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. The rate of FIT completion, within one year, was 36.2 percent for the group without any financial incentive.

2. The rate of FIT completion, within one year, was 36.9 percent for the two groups with financial incentives; the $5 incentive group had a 39.2 percent rate of FIT completion and the $10 incentive group had a 34.6 percent rate of FIT completion.

3. There was no significant difference between the three groups in terms of rate of completion or in terms of median time to complete the test.

4. Results did not significantly differ when controlling for age, sex, race/ethnicity or neighborhood poverty rate.

5. The researchers concluded that "financial incentives, in the amount of $5 or $10 offered in exchange for responding to mailed invitation to complete FIT, do not impact CRC screening completion."

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