This article was originally published here
Prev Chronic Dis. 2021 Mar 4;18:E20. doi: 10.5888/pcd18.200362.
INTRODUCTION: Colorectal cancer (CRC) screening can reduce morbidity and mortality; however, important disparities exist in CRC uptake. Our study examines the associations of distance to care and frequency of using primary care and screening.
METHODS: To examine the distribution of screening geographically and according to several demographic features, we used individual patient-level data, dated September 30, 2018, from a large urban safety-net health system in Central Texas. We used spatial cluster analysis and logistic regression adjusted for age, race, sex, socioeconomic status, and health insurance status.
RESULTS: We obtained screening status data for 13,079 age-eligible patients from the health system’s electronic medical records. Of those eligible, 55.1% were female, and 55.9% identified as Hispanic. Mean age was 58.1 years. Patients residing more than 20 miles from one of the system’s primary care clinics was associated with lower screening rates (odds ratio [OR], 0.63; 95% CI, 0.43-0.93). Patients with higher screening rates included those who had a greater number of primary care-related (nonspecialty) visits within 1 year (OR, 6.90; 95% CI, 6.04-7.88) and those who were part of the county-level medical assistance program (OR, 1.61; 95% CI, 1.40-1.84). Spatial analysis identified an area where the level of CRC screening was particularly low.
CONCLUSION: Distance to primary care and use of primary care were associated with screening. Priorities in targeted interventions should include identifying and inviting patients with limited care engagements.