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A patient initiated computer program improved breast cancer screening practices in primary care

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Question Does a patient initiated, easy to use, computer program improve cancer screening rates (breast, cervix, colon, rectum, and oral cavity cancers)?


Randomised controlled trial.


60 of 329 primary care practices (family practice, general practice, or general internal medicine) in south eastern USA.


Patients were >18 years of age, had visited a study practice in the previous year, and had been eligible for breast cancer screening (mammographies and clinical breast examinations for women ≥50 years), cervical cancer screening (Papanicoulaou smears for women ≥18 years), colorectal cancer screening (digital rectal examinations for adults ≥40 years, and fecal occult blood tests and flexible sigmoidoscopy for adults ≥50 years), and oral cavity cancer screening (oral cavity examinations for adults ≥18 years).


Randomisation was stratified based on degree …

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  • Source of funding: National Cancer Institute.

  • For correspondence: Dr R B Williams, Ernst & Young, LLP, 901 East Cary Street, Suite 1000, Richmond, VA 23219, USA. Fax +1 804 344 4652.