Improving attendance for breast screening among recent non-attenders: a randomised controlled trial of two interventions in primary care.
To examine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of two primary care based interventions aimed at increasing breast screening uptake for women who had recently failed to attend. 13 General practices with low uptake in the second round of breast screening (below 60%) in north west London and the West Midlands, United Kingdom. Participants were women in these practices who were recent non-attenders for breast screening in the third round. Pragmatic factorial randomised controlled trial, with people randomised to a systematic intervention (general practitioner letter), an opportunistic intervention (flag in women's notes prompting discussion by health professionals), neither intervention, or both. Outcome measures were attendance for screening 6 months after randomisation and cost-effectiveness of the interventions. 1,158 Women were individually randomised as follows: 289 control; 291 letter; 290 flag; 288 both interventions. Attendance was ascertained for 1,148 (99%) of the 1,158 women. Logistic regression adjusting for the other intervention and practice produced an odds ratio (OR) for attendance of 1.51 (95% confidence interval (95% CI 1.02 to 2.26; p=0.04) for the letter, and 1.39 (95% CI 0.93 to 2.07; p=0.10) for the flag. Health service costs/ additional attendance were 35 pounds (letter) and 65 pounds (flag). Among recent non-attenders, the letter was effective in increasing breast screening attendance. The flag was of equivocal effectiveness and was considerably less cost-effective than the letter.