The association of perceived provider-patient communication and relationship quality with colorectal cancer screening

Health Educ Behav. 2012 Oct;39(5):555-63. doi: 10.1177/1090198111421800. Epub 2011 Oct 10.


Background: Two-thirds of adults aged 50 years and older are adherent to recommendations for colorectal cancer screening. Provider-patient communication and characteristics of the patient-provider relationship may relate to screening behavior.

Methods: The association of provider communication quality, relationship, and colorectal cancer screening was examined within data from the 2007 Health Information National Trends Survey.

Results: Perceived provider communication and relationship quality were associated with both adherence to colonoscopy and with ever having been screened. Predictive margins analyses indicated that increasing perceptions from lowest to highest levels of communication and relationship quality would be associated with increases in screening rates approaching 16 percentage points.

Conclusion: Improving provider-patient communication and relationship quality could potentially improve colorectal cancer screening behaviors among adults aged 50 years and older. Future research and clinical practice should focus on understanding the role of these factors in screening behavior and enhance the provider-patient interaction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Colonoscopy / psychology*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Communication*
  • Early Detection of Cancer*
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance / psychology*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • United States