Colorectal cancer screening practices among attendees at a cancer screening clinic

J Cancer Educ. Spring 2003;18(1):30-6. doi: 10.1207/s15430154jce1801_12.


Background: Little is known about colorectal cancer (CRC) screening behaviors among patients seen in a general cancer screening clinic.

Methods: Age-eligible respondents completed a brief self-administered survey examining self-reported compliance with CRC screening recommendations and beliefs about the benefits of CRC screening.

Results: Overall compliance with CRC screening among respondents was 43%. Although compliance did not differ by gender, persons aged 65+ years were more than five times more likely to be compliant with CRC screening (OR = 5.29, CI = 2.06-13.58). While a majority of respondents (87%) reported that they would complete CRC screening if recommended by a doctor, only 54% had talked with their doctors about examinations for CRC. Males were more likely to report they would complete testing if recommended by their doctors (OR = 6.81, CI = 1.46-31.8) and twice as likely to report having talked to their doctors about CRC testing (OR = 2.71, CI = 1.32-5.56).

Conclusions: Efforts to enhance CRC screening behaviors among motivated subpopulations seeking preventive care might consider opportunities to augment physician-patient dialogues regarding the need for screening tests. In addition, the dissonance between the recognized need for CRC testing and lack of compliance warrants further examination.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude to Health
  • Cancer Care Facilities
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance