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עמוד בית
Tue, 23.07.24

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September 2004
M. Clarfield, E. Rosenberg, J. Brodsky and N. Bentur

Mortality rates have been falling at all ages, even for very old cohorts, in most western countries as well as in Israel. The question remains open as to whether morbidity rates are also decreasing, especially for Israel’s elderly. While health is improving in almost all industrialized countries, the situation in Israel is not yet resolved. While the more recent cohorts of the young-old (65–74 years) are healthier than their predecessors, Israel’s old-old (75+) may still be lagging behind other countries with regard to improvements in health status. This phenomenon is not well understood but could be explained in part by the more severe formative experiences of many of Israel’s very elderly cohort.

June 2002
Shlomo Vinker, MD, Sasson Nakar, MD, Elliot Rosenberg, MD, MPH and Eliezer Kitai, MD

Background: Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer mortality in Israel. Unfortunately, compliance  with annual fecal occult blood testing is very low.

Objective: To assess the effectiveness of interventions to increase FOBT[1] screening in primary care clinics in Israel.

Methods: A prospective, randomized study included all 50–75 year old enrollees of six family physicians in two primary care clinics. The register of two physicians, one from each clinic, was allocated to one of three groups. Two FOBT reminder strategies were tested: a physician reminder (753 patients), and a patient reminder that was either a phone call (312 patients) or a letter (337 patients). The control group (913 patients) of physicians continued administering their regular level of care. The main outcome measure was the percentage of patients undergoing FOBT screening in each study arm at the conclusion of the one year study period.

Results: In the intervention groups 14.3% (201/1,402) were screened using the FOBT over the course of the study year. Using an intent-to-screen analysis, the screening rate in the physician and patient reminder groups was significantly higher than in the control group(16.5 and 11.9%,vs. 1.2% respectively, P < 0.0001). Phone reminders were significantly more efective as compared to letters (14.7 vs. 9.2%, P = 0.01).

Conclusions: Our study has shown the benefit of various FOBT reminder systems, especially those centered around the family physician. Further research should focus on this area, in conjunction with other novel approaches.

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[1] FOBT = fecal occult blood testing

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