The aim of this study was to identify barriers to effective cervical and colorectal cancers screening programmes in Europe. The Barriers to Effective Screening Tool (BEST), based on a health systems approach, was completed by teams of three to six experts on cancer screening in each of the six countries involved in leading the EU-TOPIA project (TOwards imProved screening for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer In All of Europe). While the basic components of screening systems and the challenges they face, such as low participation, are similar, there are also many differences, both in the structures underpinning particular functions, such as maintenance of populationregisters and monitoring outcomes, and the ways that they operate. Many of these lie outside the strict organisational boundaries of screening programmes. BEST offers a means to identify and prioritise issues for further detailed exploration. The holistic health systems approach to assessing barriers differs from previous approaches. Those focus on individual characteristics that determine participation. The approach described here provides additional opportunities to improve outcomes with measures that are largely within the control of those managing the health system.

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Health Policy
Department of Public Health

Turnbull, E., Priaulx, J., de Kok, I., Lansdorp-Vogelaar, I., Anttila, A., Sarkeala, T. (Tytti), … McKee, M. (2018). Results of a health systems approach to identify barriers to population-based cervical and colorectal cancer screening programmes in six European countries. Health Policy. doi:10.1016/j.healthpol.2018.08.005