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01.12.2013 | Study protocol | Ausgabe 1/2013 Open Access

Implementation Science 1/2013

Efficacy to effectiveness transition of an Educational Program to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screening (EPICS): study protocol of a cluster randomized controlled trial

Implementation Science > Ausgabe 1/2013
Selina A Smith, Daniel S Blumenthal
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1748-5908-8-86) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

Both authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

SAS and DSB, both principal investigators, conceived the study and acquired funding; SAS wrote the first draft of the manuscript. DSB refined the draft and completed the discussion section. Both authors advised on theoretical and methodological issues, providing ongoing critique and have approved the final version of the manuscript.



African Americans have the highest incidence and mortality and are less likely than whites to have been screened for colorectal cancer (CRC). Many interventions have been shown to increase CRC screening in research settings, but few have been evaluated specifically for use in African-American communities in real world settings. This study aims to identify the most efficacious approach to disseminate an evidence-based intervention in promoting colorectal screening in African Americans and to identify the factors associated with its efficacy.


In this study, investigators will recruit 20 community coalitions and 7,200 African-Americans age 50 to 74 to test passive and active approaches to disseminating the Educational Program to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screening (EPICS); to measure the extent to which EPICS is accepted and the fidelity of implementation in various settings and to estimate the potential translatability and public health impact of EPICS. This four-arm cluster randomized trial compares the following implementation strategies: passive arms, (web access to facilitator training materials and toolkits without technical assistance (TA) and (web access, but with technical assistance (TA); active arms, (in-person access to facilitator training materials and toolkits without TA and (in-person access with TA). Primary outcome measures are the reach (the proportion of representative community coalitions and individuals participating) and efficacy (post-intervention changes in CRC screening rates). Secondary outcomes include adoption (percentage of community coalitions implementing the EPICS sessions) and implementation (quality and consistency of the intervention delivery). The extent to which community coalitions continue to implement EPICS post-implementation (maintenance) will also be measured. Cost-effectiveness analysis will be conducted.


Implementing EPICS in partnership with community coalitions, we hypothesized, will result in more rapid adoption than traditional top-down approaches, and resulting changes in community CRC screening practices are more likely to be sustainable over time. With its national reach, this study has the potential to enhance our understanding of barriers and enablers to the uptake of educational programs aimed at eliminating cancer disparities.

Trial registration NCT01805622
Authors’ original file for figure 1
Authors’ original file for figure 2
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