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Postgrad Med J. 2013 Jul;89(1053):390-3. doi: 10.1136/postgradmedj-2012-131014. Epub 2013 Apr 9.

Did the 'Be Clear on Bowel Cancer' public awareness campaign pilot result in a higher rate of cancer detection?

Author information

1
Department of Colorectal Surgery, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, Exeter, UK. i.daniels@nhs.net

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To assess the impact of a 7-week public bowel cancer awareness campaign pilot by reviewing the number of 2-week referrals from general practitioners (GPs) to hospital, endoscopic procedures and new cancers diagnosed throughout the five acute hospitals in The Peninsular Cancer Network, UK.

DESIGN:

A retrospective before and after study.

SETTING:

The Peninsula Cancer Network in the South West of England, UK.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

For the period July 2010-July 2011, data were collected on the number of 2-week referrals, number of endoscopic procedures performed and number of new cancers diagnosed. The average for the 6 months before the campaign was compared with the immediate 3 months and then the fourth to sixth months following the campaign. Student's t test was used to compare the means of the three groups.

RESULTS:

There was a statistically significant increase in the number of 2-week referrals from GPs to hospital in the 3 months following the campaign but this effect disappeared after that. There was no statistical increase in the number of endoscopic procedures or new cancers diagnosed following the awareness campaign.

CONCLUSIONS:

The pilot 'Be Clear on Cancer' awareness campaign had a significant effect on the number of patients being referred from GPs to hospital; however, the effect was short lived and had returned to baseline by 3 months. The campaign had no effect on the number of new cancers diagnosed, which was the stated underlying aim of the pilot.

KEYWORDS:

PUBLIC HEALTH

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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