Using Intervention Mapping to Develop a Theory-Based Intervention to Promote Colorectal Cancer Screening in Egypt

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Alexandria Faculty of Medicine, Champollion St., Al Mesallah Sharq, Al Attarin, Alexandria, Egypt.

2 University of Alabama at Birmingham Heersink School of Medicine, Division of Preventive Medicine, 1717 11th Ave South, Birmingham, AL 35226, U.S.A.

3 University of Alabama at Birmingham, O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center, 1824 6th Ave South, Birmingham, AL 35233 U.S.A.


Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence and mortality rates are increasing in Egypt. Because no national screening guidelines exist, developing an effective evidence-based screening intervention could lower rates by early detection of pre-cancerous and cancerous lesions and polyps. This paper describes the development of a CRC screening intervention in Alexandria, Egypt using Intervention Mapping (IM). Materials and Methods: Between September 2019 and March 2020, the successive steps of the IM process were completed. Beginning with the needs assessment, we conducted a literature review, held focus groups with residents of Alexandria, and conducted interviews with local gastroenterologists and oncologists. Program objectives and target audience were determined before designing the program components and implementation plan. Using the PRECEDE-PROCEED theoretical model, predisposing, reinforcing, and enabling screening barriers were assessed. Finally, we developed a Standard Operating Procedures manual detailing aspects of the intervention and evaluation to serve as a model for an expanded screening program. Results: The needs assessment, e.g., literature review, seven focus groups (N=61 participants) and interviews (N=17 participants), indicated that barriers among residents included CRC knowledge deficits, fear/anxiety regarding testing, high cost, and lack of accessibility. Physicians believed CRC testing should only be performed for high risk individuals. Findings from each step of the process informed successive steps. Our final intervention consisted of training components for medical students (Health Champions) who would deliver the intervention to patients in primary care waiting rooms, providing short descriptions of CRC risks and screening, educational brochures, and distributing vouchers for no-cost guaiac fecal occult blood test kits. Health Champions would then follow up with the patients, providing results and referrals for no-cost colonoscopy testing for those with abnormal results. Conclusion: Utilizing the IM steps successfully led to development of a theory-based CRC screening intervention for Egypt. Next steps include the implementation of a feasibility pilot intervention.


Main Subjects