Introduction: Check-Cap is a capsule device that images the colon using low-dose radiation (total dose equivalent to a plain abdominal radiograph) and does not require bowel preparation. Check-Cap is in development for colorectal cancer imaging.
Aim: : To survey patients in a primary care setting for their preferences for Check-Cap versus fecal occult blood testing (FOBT), including among patients who decline colonoscopy.
Methods: Patients aged 50 and older presenting to the general medicine and family practice clinics of Indiana University Health sites within a 3-month period were approached during clinic visits. A total of 502 patients who agreed to participate were given the opportunity to complete an anonymous survey (Supplementary Appendix 1, http://links.lww.com/JCG/A71) regarding their preferences for colon cancer screening. The survey presented procedure descriptions and projected accuracies for colonoscopy, FOBT, and Check-Cap. For Check-Cap, projected sensitivity was 80% for cancer and 50% for large polyps.
Results: The mean age of the subjects was 61.6 years, 39% were males, 44% white, 62% of patients had prior colonoscopy, and 26% had prior polypectomy. We defined 3 groups of patients-those that had never had a colonoscopy (NC)-38%, those who had a colonoscopy but no polypectomy (CNP)-36%, and those who had a colonoscopy and polypectomy (CP)-26%. Overall, 284 patients (57%) were willing to undergo a future colonoscopy. Patients with prior colonoscopy and polypectomy were more willing to get another colonoscopy than the other 2 groups (CP:CNP:NC=78%:64%:38%; P<0.0001). Willingness to undergo colonoscopy decreased with age in all the 3 groups. Among those not willing to undergo colonoscopy, 30% were willing to undergo Check-Cap, 20% were willing for FOBT), 25% were willing to do both, and 24% were not willing for either test. Among those who declined future colonoscopy, 40% reported Check-Cap as their preferred screening test versus 22% for FOBT; P=0.0002.
Conclusion: Our survey suggests that an imaging capsule like Check-Cap could contribute to screening adherence among patients who decline colonoscopy, provided that it can achieve projected sensitivities of 80% for cancer and 50% for large polyps.