Background and aim: To investigate participation in a second round of colorectal cancer screening using a fecal occult blood test (FOBT) in an Australian rural community, and to assess the demographic characteristics and individual perspectives associated with repeat screening.
Methods: Potential participants from round 1 (50-74 years of age) were sent an intervention package and asked to return a completed FOBT (n = 3406). Doctors of participants testing positive referred to colonoscopy as appropriate. Following screening, 119 participants completed qualitative telephone interviews. Multivariable logistic regression models evaluated the association between round-2 participation and other variables.
Results: Round-2 participation was 34.7%; the strongest predictor was participation in round 1. Repeat participants were more likely to be female; inconsistent screeners were more likely to be younger (aged 50-59 years). The proportion of positive FOBT was 12.7%, that of colonoscopy compliance was 98.6%, and the positive predictive value for cancer or adenoma of advanced pathology was 23.9%. Reasons for participation included testing as a precautionary measure or having family history/friends with colorectal cancer; reasons for non-participation included apathy or doctors' advice against screening.
Conclusion: Participation was relatively low and consistent across rounds. Unless suitable strategies are identified to overcome behavioral trends and/or to screen out ineligible participants, little change in overall participation rates can be expected across rounds.
© 2010 Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Foundation and Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.