Assignment: Academic Medical Centre
knowledge about CRC screening, increases sat-
isfaction with the decision-making process and
increases screening intentions compared to non-
users. The study also finds that screening
intentions and test ordering are negatively
influenced in situations where patient and pro-
vider preferences differ. The tool�s impact on patient adherence awaits more complete follow-
up data, which should be available in early
We conducted a cross-sectional survey of
primary care providers participating in the ran-
domized clinical trial in January and February
of 2009. At the time of the survey, 725 eligible
patients had been randomized to one of the three
study arms. The surveys were distributed just
prior to monthly business meetings conducted
by the Sections of General Internal Medicine
and Women�s Health at Boston Medical Center and Adult Medicine at the South Boston Com-
munity Health Center. Respondents were asked
to sign an attestation sheet if they completed the
survey to identify providers not in attendance.
For those who were not in attendance, the sur-
vey was distributed electronically as an email
attachment; respondents were asked to return
the survey via facsimile to preserve anonymity.
Two email reminders with attached surveys were
sent 2 weeks apart after the initial email to
optimize response. The study was deemed
exempt by the Institutional Review Boards at
both participating institutions.
The survey sample included board-certified
primary care providers (general internists and
nurse practitioners) at Boston Medical Center
and the South Boston Community Health Center
who had referred patients to the randomized
clinical trial. Of the 50 providers who had referred
patients to the study since its commencement in
2005, 42 were still practicing at the participating
sites at the time of the survey. All had exposure
at least one patient in an intervention arm and at
least one patient in the control arm; all but two of
the targeted providers had multiple patients in
each arm. None of the participants had formally
reviewed the content of the decision aid nor
received special training in SDM.
The Boston Medical Center is a private, non-profit
academic medical centre affiliated with the Boston
University School of Medicine, which serves a
mostly minority patient population (only 28%
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