Do geodemographic typologies explain variations in uptake in colorectal cancer screening? An assessment using routine screening data in the south of England

Nnoaham, Kelechi E., Frater, Alison, Roderick, Paul, Moon, Graham and Halloran, Stephen (2010) Do geodemographic typologies explain variations in uptake in colorectal cancer screening? An assessment using routine screening data in the south of England. Journal Of Public Health, 32, (4), 572-81. (doi:10.1093/pubmed/fdq025). (PMID:20410067).


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Background: Uptake of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening in UK is less than 60%. Geodemographic typologies are useful in describing patterns of individual preventive health behaviour but little is known of their value in assessing uptake of CRC screening, or how this compares to traditional measures of area deprivation.

Methods: We used data on CRC screening uptake in the South Central, South-East Coast and South-West England National Health Service regions in multilevel logistic regression to describe the effects of individual composition and contextual factors (area deprivation and geodemographic segments) on non-response to screening invitation. The relative impact of geodemographic segmentation and the index of multiple deprivation (IMD) 2007 was compared. The potential population impact of a targeted increase in uptake in specific geodemographic segments was examined.

Results: About 88 891 eligible adults were invited to be screened from 2006 to 2008. Uptake rate was 57.3% (CI: 57.0–57.7) and was lower amongst younger persons, men, residents of more deprived areas and people in specific geodemographic segments. Age and gender were significant determinants of uptake and contextual factors explained an additional 3% of the variation. Geodemographic segmentation reduced this residual contextual variation in uptake more than the IMD 2007 (72% vs. 53% reduction). The three geodemographic types that best predicted non-response were characterized by both ethnic mix and a higher than average proportion of single pensioner households renting council properties. Achieving average uptake in the 2.3% of the study population in these geodemographic segments would only increase the total population uptake rate by 0.5% (57.3–57.8%).

Conclusion: Variation in the CRC screening uptake in Southern England is principally explained by characteristics of individuals but contextual factors also have a small but significant effect. This effect is captured in greater detail by geodemographic segmentation than by IMD 2007. This information could be used to inform the design of interventions aiming to improve uptake.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1093/pubmed/fdq025
ISSNs: 1741-3842 (print)
1741-3850 (electronic)
Keywords: colorectal cancer, geodemographics, multilevel model, screening
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Medicine > Community Clinical Sciences
Faculty of Medicine > Primary Care and Population Sciences
ePrint ID: 147657
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
21 April 2010Made publicly available
December 2010Published
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2010 10:30
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:21

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