An endoscopic quality improvement program improves detection of colorectal adenomas

Am J Gastroenterol. 2013 Feb;108(2):219-26; quiz 227. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2012.417. Epub 2013 Jan 8.


Objectives: Adenoma detection rate (ADR) is a key measure of quality in colonoscopy. Low ADRs are associated with development of interval cancer after "negative" colonoscopy. Uncontrolled studies mandating longer withdrawal time, and other incentives, have not significantly improved ADR. We hypothesized that an endoscopist training program would increase ADRs.

Methods: Our Endoscopic Quality Improvement Program (EQUIP) was an educational intervention for staff endoscopists. We measured ADRs for a baseline period, then randomly assigned half of the 15 endoscopists to undergo EQUIP training. We then examined baseline and post-training study ADRs for all endoscopists (trained and un-trained) to evaluate the impact of training. A total of 1,200 procedures were completed in each of the two study phases.

Results: Patient characteristics were similar between randomization groups and between study phases. The overall ADR in baseline phase was 36% for both groups of endoscopists. In the post-training phase, the group of endoscopists randomized to EQUIP training had an increase in ADR to 47%, whereas the ADR for the group of endoscopists who were not trained remained unchanged at 35%. The effect of training on the endoscopist-specific ADRs was estimated with an odds ratio of 1.73 (95% confidence interval 1.24-2.41, P=0.0013).

Conclusions: Our results indicate that ADRs can be improved considerably through simple educational efforts. Ultimately, a trial involving a larger number of endoscopists is needed to validate the utility of our training methods and determine whether improvements in ADRs lead to reduced colorectal cancer.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / diagnosis*
  • Adenoma / prevention & control
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Colonoscopy / education*
  • Colonoscopy / standards*
  • Colonoscopy / trends
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Education, Medical, Continuing
  • Female
  • Gastroenterology / education
  • Gastroenterology / standards
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Operative Time*
  • Program Development
  • Quality Improvement*