Pignone to test interventions aimed at reducing colon cancer screening disparities

June 04, 2013
Dr. Michael Pignone

Dr. Michael Pignone

Michael Pignone, MD, MPH, nationally recognized expert on colon cancer screening, will collaborate on an American Cancer Society project to test interventions designed to reduce colon cancer screening disparities in vulnerable patient groups, particularly Latinos.

Pignone, professor and chief of the general medicine division at the UNC School of Medicine and adjunct professor of health behavior at Gillings School of Global Public Health, is part of a $1.7 million ACS Research Scholar Grant awarded to Dan Reuland, MD, UNC professor of medicine and clinical epidemiology. Other co-collaborators include researchers from the Mecklenburg (N.C.) Area Partnership for Primary-Care Research and The University of New Mexico.
Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Although screening can reduce colorectal cancer mortality, screening rates are low in certain vulnerable patient populations. U.S. Latinos, the nation’s largest and fastest growing racial/ethnic minority population, have particularly low screening rates. The study will focus on assessing the impact of a clinic-based intervention that includes having patients view a multimedia decision aid (in English or Spanish) before seeing their physician, as well as support from a bilingual patient “navigator” on completion of recommended colon cancer screening tests.
The grant builds on a line of research dating back to the late 1990s when Russell Harris, MD, MPH, professor in the UNC School of Medicine and director of the Health Care and Prevention MPH Program in the Gillings School’s Public Health Leadership Program, along with others developed the original colon cancer screening decision aid.


Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: David Pesci, director of communications, (919) 962-2600 or dpesci@unc.edu.