Participation by experienced endoscopy nurses increases the detection rate of colon polyps during a screening colonoscopy: a multicenter, prospective, randomized study

Gastrointest Endosc. 2011 Nov;74(5):1094-102. doi: 10.1016/j.gie.2011.06.033. Epub 2011 Sep 1.


Background: No reported prospective, randomized study has evaluated the impact of an endoscopy nurse participating as a second observer during colonoscopy.

Objective: To determine whether the participation of an endoscopy nurse enhanced the polyp detection rate (PDR) and adenoma detection rate (ADR) during screening colonoscopy.

Design: Multicenter, prospective, randomized study.

Setting: Academic hospitals.

Patients: A total of 844 consecutive patients undergoing screening colonoscopy.

Interventions: Single observation by colonoscopist or dual observation by colonoscopist and endoscopy nurse during colonoscope withdrawal.

Main outcome measurements: PDR and ADR.

Results: No significant difference in patient demographic data, adequacy of bowel preparation, or mean withdrawal time was observed between the 2 groups. In total, 1153 polyps, including 762 adenomas, were detected in 791 patients. Seven nonpolypoid, depressed neoplastic lesions (0-IIc or combined types) were only detected in the dual observation group. A multivariate analysis revealed that experienced (≥ 2 years) endoscopy nurse participation significantly increased the PDR and ADR compared with those in the single observation group by a colonoscopist alone (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.58 [95% CI, 1.07-2.32]; adjusted OR 1.47 [95% CI, 1.01-2.12], respectively). Additionally, the PDR was significantly higher in the dual-observation group with fellows (<500 colonoscopies) and an experienced endoscopy nurse versus that in the single observation group (adjusted OR 2.07 [95% CI, 1.15-3.74]). There was no significant benefit of experienced nurse participation in the subgroup with experienced colonoscopists.

Limitations: Absence of colonoscopist blinding.

Conclusions: Experienced endoscopy nurse participation increased the PDR and ADR during screening colonoscopy. However, the benefit of participation by experienced nurses appears to be exclusively with inexperienced colonoscopists.

Trial registration: NCT01124266.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / diagnosis*
  • Aged
  • Clinical Competence
  • Colonic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Colonic Polyps / diagnosis*
  • Colonoscopy / nursing*
  • Early Detection of Cancer / nursing*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Nurse's Role
  • Odds Ratio

Associated data