Understanding the processes that Federally Qualified Health Centers use to select and implement colorectal cancer screening interventions: a qualitative studyAbstract
Colorectal cancer (CRC) screening is highly effective at reducing cancer-related morbidity and mortality, yet screening rates remain suboptimal. Evidence-based interventions can increase screening rates, particularly when they target multiple levels (e.g., patients, providers, health care systems). However, effective interventions remain underutilized. Thus, there is a pressing need to build capacity to select and implement multilevel CRC screening interventions. We report on formative research aimed at understanding how Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) staff select and implement CRC screening interventions, which will inform development of capacity-building strategies. We report the qualitative findings from a study that used a mixed methods design, starting with a quantitative survey followed by a qualitative study. In-depth interviews were conducted with 28 staff from 14 FQHCs in 8 states. The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) guided interview questions and data analysis. Related to the CFIR process domain, few respondents described conducting formal assessments of factors contributing to low screening rates prior to planning their interventions. Many described engaging champions, implementation leaders, and external change agents. Few described a systematic approach to executing implementation plans beyond conducting plan-do-study-act cycles. Reflection and evaluation consisted primarily of reviewing Uniform Data System performance measures. Findings also include themes related to factors influencing these implementation processes. Although FQHCs are implementing CRC screening interventions, they are not actively targeting the multilevel factors influencing their CRC screening rates. Our findings on gaps in FQHCs' implementation processes will inform development of strategies to build capacity to select and implement multilevel CRC screening interventions.