The federal government also plays an active role in guideline dissemination. The AHRQ Put Prevention into Practice (PPIP) initiative is designed to help implement the recommendations of USPSTF by supplying health care providers with easy-to-use materials to prompt adherence to the guidelines (http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/ppipix.htm). Roughly 20 percent of the services considered by USPSTF and PPIP relate to cancer detection or prevention.
Another federally sponsored guideline dissemination activity is CONQUEST (Computerized Needs-Oriented Quality Measurement Evaluation System), which consists of a database of performance measures (conditions, diseases, and procedures), measure sets (measures with a common purpose and developer), and conditions (with detailed epidemiological information). CONQUEST includes measures related to the management of several cancers (i.e., colorectal, lung, prostate, and breast cancer), the use of screening tests (i.e., mammography and Pap smear), and cigarette use (www.ahrq.gov/qual/conquest.htm).
NCI is at the center of federal efforts to disseminate cancer-specific information to individuals and health care providers. By telephone, individuals can receive up-to-date cancer information in English or Spanish through the Cancer Information Service (1-800-4-CANCER). Over 390,000 calls are received each year, with 79 percent from cancer patients and their families and the balance from the general public and health care professionals (http://cis.nci.nih.gov/about/underserved.html, accessed January 30, 2002). Through the World Wide Web (www.nci.nih.gov/cancerinfo/index.html), individuals can get information about the basics of cancer; treatment options; clinical trials; genetics, causes, risk factors, and prevention; screening; and information about support and other resources. Information about cancer trials and how to access them is available through a dedicated clinical trial website (http://cancertrials.nci.nih.gov).
In an effort to learn more about the public’s access to and use of cancer-related health information, the NCI is conducting a national survey, the Health Information National Trends Survey. Other research-oriented activities that are a part of NCI’s cancer communications initiative are described in Chapter 10.
PDQ (Physician Data Query) is NCI’s comprehensive cancer database originally designed for use by physicians. The database contains peer-reviewed summaries on cancer treatment, screening, prevention, genetics, and supportive care. These summaries are updated monthly by specialized editorial boards. There are two versions of the screening and detection summaries. One is for health professionals and contains current data, by cancer site, on screening interventions, levels of evidence for statements regarding screening, and the significance and evidence of benefit for the