Changes in the choice of colorectal cancer screening tests in primary care settings from 7,845 prospectively collected surveys

Cancer Causes Control. 2012 Sep;23(9):1541-8. doi: 10.1007/s10552-012-0031-x. Epub 2012 Jul 27.


Purpose: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the leading causes of cancer mortality worldwide. This study examined factors influencing the choice of participants between colonoscopy and fecal immunochemical test (FIT) in a screening program and the impact of an unbiased educational session on influencing this decision.

Methods: Data from 7,845 participants who underwent screening between May 2008 and April 2011 was analyzed. Binary logistic regression and multinomial regression were performed to calculate the odds of selection of colonoscopy instead of FIT and the impact of the educational session on final participant choice, respectively.

Results: Of the 7,845 participants, 4,796 (61 %) underwent FIT and 3,049 (39 %) underwent colonoscopy. A significant number of participants changed their initial choice after the educational session, with 27.1 % changing to FIT from colonoscopy and 8 % changing from FIT to colonoscopy. Age, educational level, occupation, income, family history of CRC, perception of risk of CRC, and perceptions regarding CRC screening were significantly different among the groups choosing FIT and colonoscopy. Family history of CRC and high self-perception of CRC risk resulted in higher odds of choosing colonoscopy, whereas older age, single marital status, and negative perception of CRC screening resulted in lower odds. Perceptions of overall health status, occupation, low income, younger age, and negative perceptions of CRC screening were associated with higher odds of change in screening choice.

Conclusions: Those at higher odds of changing CRC screening options should be supported with more detailed explanations by primary care physicians to secure a more informed and considered choice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Choice Behavior
  • Cohort Studies
  • Colonoscopy / methods
  • Colonoscopy / psychology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Data Collection
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods*
  • Early Detection of Cancer / psychology*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Primary Health Care
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk
  • Self Concept
  • Socioeconomic Factors