Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 38, Issue 5, pp 777–786 | Cite as

Effects of genetic and environmental risk assessment feedback on colorectal cancer screening adherence

  • Ronald E. MyersEmail author
  • Karen Ruth
  • Sharon L. Manne
  • James Cocroft
  • Randa Sifri
  • Barry Ziring
  • Desiree Burgh
  • Eric Ross
  • David S. Weinberg


Little is known about the impact of genetic and environmental risk assessment (GERA) feedback on colorectal cancer (CRC) screening. In a recently completed randomized trial, primary care patients received GERA feedback based on a blood test for genetic polymorphisms and serum folate level (GERA Group) versus usual care (Control Group). Subsequently, participants were offered CRC screening. Among participants who received GERA feedback, being at elevated risk was negatively associated with prospective CRC screening adherence. Secondary analyses of data from this study were performed to identify independent predictors of adherence among participants who received GERA feedback. We obtained baseline survey, follow-up survey, and endpoint medical records data on sociodemographic background, knowledge, psychosocial characteristics, risk status, and adherence for 285 GERA Group participants. Univariate and multivariable analyses were performed to identify predictors of CRC screening adherence. Following a 6-month outcomes observation period, we also conducted two focus groups with GERA Group participants to assess their perceptions of GERA risk feedback and screening. Content analyses of focus group data were evaluated to gain insights into participant response to risk feedback. Overall, half of GERA Group participants adhered to screening within 6 months after randomization. Multivariable analyses showed a statistically significant interaction between race and GERA feedback status relative to screening adherence (p = 0.043). Among participants who received average risk feedback, adherence was comparable among whites (49.7 %) and nonwhites (54.1 %); however, among those at elevated risk, adherence was substantially higher among whites (66.7 %) compared to nonwhites (33.3 %). Focus group findings suggest that whites were more likely than nonwhites to view elevated risk feedback as a prompt to screen. In response to receiving elevated risk feedback, nonwhites were more likely than whites to report feeling anxiety about the likelihood of being diagnosed with CRC. Further research is needed to explore race-related CRC screening differences in response to GERA feedback.


Genetic Environment Risk assessment Cancer Colorectal Screening Adherence 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the invaluable contributions of Anett Petrich, Heidi Swan, Thomas Wolf and members of the Fox Chase Cancer Center Genomics Facility. This research was supported by Grant R01 CA112230 and P30 CA006927 from the National Institutes of Health.

Conflict of interest

Ronald E. Myers, Karen Ruth, Sharon L. Manne, James Cocroft, Randa Sifri, Barry Ziring, Desiree Burgh, Eric Ross and David S. Weinberg declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and animal rights and Informed Consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald E. Myers
    • 1
    Email author
  • Karen Ruth
    • 2
  • Sharon L. Manne
    • 3
  • James Cocroft
    • 1
  • Randa Sifri
    • 1
  • Barry Ziring
    • 1
  • Desiree Burgh
    • 1
  • Eric Ross
    • 2
  • David S. Weinberg
    • 2
  1. 1.Thomas Jefferson UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Fox Chase Cancer CenterPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Cancer Institute of New JerseyNew BrunswickUSA

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