LDI Senior Fellow Shivan J. Mehta conducted a randomized clinical trial on how to improve mammography completion rates through direct outreach to patients. Mehta and his team tested the strategies of text messages and bulk ordering, “a practice in which any patient who is eligible receives a doctor’s order for the screening, as opposed to the traditional method of having a patient receive an order once they’ve visited their doctor.” 

The study found that both text message intervention and bulk ordering of tests increase the rates of breast cancer screenings. For the text message intervention, 15.1% of people completed the screening while only 13% did without the intervention. Similarly for the bulk ordering, 15.4% with the intervention completed the screening compared to 12.7% without.

Screening for breast cancer, a leading cause of cancer death among women, is recommended every two years for women ages 40 to 74 years. Rates fall short of Healthy People 2030 targets, which seek to increase the proportion of females who get screened for breast cancer to 80%, up from 75.6% in 2021. These nudges offer valuable insights to improve breast cancer screening rates.

The study, “Behavioral Interventions to Improve Breast Cancer Screening Outreach: Two Randomized Clinical Trials,” was published on May 6, 2024 in JAMA Internal Medicine. Authors include Shivan J. Mehta, Corinne Rhodes, Kristin A. Linn, Catherine Reitz, Caitlin McDonald, Evelyn Okorie, Keyirah Williams, David Resnik, Annamaria Arostegui, Timothy McAuliffe, Colin Wollack, Christopher K. Snider, MaryAnne K. Peifer, and Susan P. Weinstein. 


Mackenzie Bolas

Policy Coordinator

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