Evaluation of The British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) intervention for bowel cancer screening in the Muslim community -PEDHSC13

Daksha Trivedi and Claire Thompson are supporting colleagues at Luton Public Health Team and Luton CCG to design and carry out an evaluation of a bowel cancer screening intervention. The intervention was due to be rolled out in March 2021 but has now been put back to the Autumn 2021.


Inequitable access to healthcare and preventive services leads to significant, avoidable disparities in health outcomes for some groups in society, particularly ethnically diverse communities.  Local health organisations are aiming to increase uptake of screening and reduce health inequalities. Luton Borough has a large, mobile population and Luton CCG has the lowest uptake of bowel screening in the East of England In Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic  groups

We hypothesise that culturally adapted interventions within faith institutions may improve participation in cancer screening in people with low uptake.  Targeting local areas in the East of England, which has the highest proportion of Muslims (2011 census data) with a very low uptake of bowel cancer screening (e.g. Luton) has the potential to reach populations with a high risk of health inequalities.  It also has the highest proportion of Muslims in the East of England.

An initial BIMA promotion event, delivering educational cancer screening awareness talks by The Muslim Council of Britain involved 39 faith based venues where 900 BIMA members participated has proved successful in triggering positive cancer screening awareness in the Muslim community.

The British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) has developed a “faith-placed” intervention to increase awareness of cancer screening and provide information to Muslim communities. It adapts a slide-deck used by Cancer Research UK  and uses it to dispel myths, provide motivation and model positive behaviour in relation to screening. The intervention is delivered by clinicians from the community and usually takes place in a mosque or community centre, though in 2020 the intervention has been delivered virtually.

Aim: To conduct a pragmatic evaluation and estimate the impact of BIMA on the uptake of bowel cancer screening among the Muslim community who receive the intervention.


  • To conduct a process evaluation, before and after comparison of BIMA to estimate impact on screening uptake and awareness
  • To determine the feasibility, acceptability and potential effectiveness of the BIMA intervention
  • To explore appropriate channels for delivering the BIMA intervention.
  • To recruit, train and support clinicians in delivering the intervention.
  • To increase understanding and intention to undertake screening in those who receive the intervention
  • To identify potential barriers to screening uptake ?implementation
  • Dissemination to Community groups and public health teams

Potential or actual impact

Findings from this project will inform the potential implementation of culturally relevant interventions to increase screening uptake, refinement of the intervention and provide recommendations  for future research  to establish  effectiveness of the intervention  on bowel cancer screening uptake in Muslim communities. 

PI: Daksha Trivedi, University of Hertfordshire

Co-PI: Tara Berger-Gillam (PHE EoE and University of East Anglia)

Corresponding researcher: Claire Thompson