Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


Strategies to reduce the social gradient in uptake of bowel cancer screening

The ASCEND study aimed to develop and evaluate four theory based strategies to reduce the socioeconomic gradient in uptake of the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme (BCSP). The four strategies were:

  • A 'gist-based' supplementary leaflet, which contained conceptual, qualitative representations of the facts about colorectal cancer (CRC) screening.
  • A 'narrative-based supplement, which used quotes and stories from individuals who had already completed CRC screening. 
  • A GP endorsed invitation letter
  • An enhanced reminder letter

ASCEND was funded by a National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Programme Grant for Applied Research led by Professor Jane Wardle (Health Behaviour Research Centre) and Professor Rosalind Raine (Department of Applied Health Research). This project ran from 2011 to 2016, and is now completed.

Principal investigator: Professor Jane Wardle and Professor Rosalind Raine (UCL DAHR)

Contact: Dr Lesley McGregor (l.mcgregor[at]ucl.ac.uk) or Dr Christian von Wagner (c.wagner[at]ucl.ac.uk)