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Market segmentation tools provide insights into demographic variations in bowel cancer screening uptake
  1. Lucy Gavens1,2,
  2. Leila Whiteley3,
  3. Agnes Belencsak4,
  4. Jane Careless1,
  5. Shirley Devine1,
  6. Nicola Richmond1,
  7. Andrew Muirhead3
  1. 1 Public Health, Derbyshire County Council, Matlock, UK
  2. 2 School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
  3. 3 Public Health, Derby City Council, Derby, UK
  4. 4 Screening and Immunisation Team embedded within NHS England North Midlands, Public Health England Midlands and East Region, Mansfield, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lucy Gavens, Derbyshire County Council, Matlock DE4 3AG, UK; lucy.gavens{at}


Background The National Health Service Bowel Cancer Screening Programme (NHS BCSP) aims to detect individuals who have precancerous polyps or early stage cancer, when it is easier to treat. To be effective, a screening uptake of at least 52% is required. Variations in uptake by demographic characteristic are reported and the aim of this study was to better understand who participates in the NHS BCSP, to inform action to address inequalities in screening uptake.

Methods Invitation-level data for the Derbyshire population were supplied by the NHS BCSP Eastern Hub for the period 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2016. Data were linked by postal code to the Mosaic Public Sector Segmentation tool. Descriptive analysis using 14 groups and 61 types within Mosaic was undertaken to offer insight into the demographic, lifestyle and behavioural traits of people living in small geographies against their screening uptake, with a particular focus on identifying population groups with an uptake below 52% and so at risk of health inequalities.

Results 180 176 screening invitations were dispatched with an overall uptake of 60.55%. Six Mosaic groups have an uptake below the 52% acceptable level: urban cohesion, rental hubs, transient renters, family basics, vintage value and municipal tenants. These groups are characterised by high levels of social-rented accommodation, multicultural urban communities and transient populations.

Conclusion Segmentation tools offer an effective way to generate novel insights into bowel cancer screening uptake and develop tailored strategies for working with identified communities to increase participation.

  • segmentation tools
  • health promotion
  • cancer
  • screening
  • health inequalities

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  • Contributors LG led the analysis and reporting of the work and is the overall content guarantor. LW conducted the data analysis and contributed to the reporting of the study. AB contributed to the planning and reporting of the study. JC co-led the planning, and contributed to the conduct and reporting of the study. SD contributed to the planning and reporting of the study. NR contributed to the planning and reporting of the study. AM co-led the planning, and contributed to the conduct and reporting of the study.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval This project was approved by the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme Research Committee in May 2017 (approval ID: BCSPRAC_177_ODR1516_489).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement No data are available.