8 April 2015
Effective prevention against cancers depends heavily on sustained individual efforts practicing protective behaviors and avoiding risk factors in a complex sociocultural context, which requires continuous and personalized supports. Contemporary prevention relies primarily on strategies targeting general population with limited attention being paid to individualized approaches. This study tests a novel package called, in acronym of core intervention components, eCROPS-CA that leverages protective behaviors against over 80% leading cancers among high risk individuals via continuous and tailored counseling by village doctors.
The study utilizes a quesi-RCT design involving 4320 high risk individuals selected, via rapid and detailed risk assessments, from about 72,000 farmers aged 35+ in 36 administrative villages randomized into equal intervention and delayed intervention arms. The intervention arm receives baseline and semiannual follow up evaluations plus eCROPS-CA for 5 years; while the control arm, only the baseline and follow-up evaluations for the first 5 years and eCROPS-CA starting from the 6 th year if the intervention is proved effective. eCROPS-CA comprises electronic supports and supervision (e), counseling cancer prevention (C), recipe for objective behaviors (R), operational toolkit (O), performance-based incentives (P), and screening and assessment (S). Evaluation measures include: incidence and stage of the leading cancers, cancer-related knowledge, attitudes and practices; easy biophysical indicators (e.g., body mass index, blood pressure); intervention compliance, acceptance of the package.
The prevention package incorporates key success factors in a synergetic way toward cost-effectiveness and long-term sustainability. It targets a set rather than any single cancer; choses village doctors as key solution to the widespread lack of professional manpower in implementing personalized and thus relatively sophisticated prevention; adopts real-time monitoring in reaching continuous improvement; utilizes smart web aids to enable prioritizing complex determinants of objective behaviors, linking counseling sessions happened at different time points and hence delivering highly coordinated prevention; uses 2-stage risk assessment models in identifying high risk individuals so as to focus on the most needed; applies standardized operation procedures in simplifying and smoothing behavior intervention yet ensuring delivery of essential steps and key elements.