Isabelle Franklin, discusses future steps to be taken following an investigation into the association between self-reported social needs and colorectal cancer screening rates.
Isabelle Franklin, medical student, Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine, discusses future steps to be taken following an investigation into the association between self-reported social needs and colorectal cancer (CRC) screening rates.
At the 2023 ASCO Annual Meeting, investigators shared data in a poster presentation from a cross-sectional study evaluating 3,443 patients. These patients were between the ages of 50 and 75 years, were in the Kaiser Permanente Health System, and had also completed the Kaiser Permanente National Social Needs Survey in 2020. Notably, the investigation revealed that patients who reported severe financial strain (26%), severe social isolation (24%), or severe food insecurity (29%) were more likely to not undergo CRC screening than patients who did not report severe financial strain (17%; P < .001), severe social isolation (18%; P =.011), or severe food insecurity (18%; P = .005).
Additionally, the investigators noted that 25% of patients who reported severe housing instability and 35% of patients with severe transportation issues were less likely to undergo CRC screening compared with patients who did not report severe housing instability (18%; P = .005) or transportation issues (18%; P = .003).
Looking to the future of this research, Franklin details that she has been collaborating with quality improvement leaders within each of the Kaiser Permanente regions since the initiation of this project. Moreover, the study investigators are now in the process of meeting with each of these regional quality improvement leaders to share region-specific data with them, Franklin explains. The hope is that these leaders will take these results back to their teams to inform quality improvement initiatives and increase CRC screening rates, she emphasizes.
On a larger scale, this type of research reinforces the importance of screening for social needs and encourages, at a systemic level, investing in programs that leverage community organizations, Franklin expands. These actions connect patients with the resources they need, she concludes.
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