Knowledge, experiences, and barriers to colorectal cancer screening: a survey of health care providers working in primary care settings

J Cancer Educ. 2015 Mar;30(1):53-61. doi: 10.1007/s13187-014-0676-0.


Colorectal cancer (CRC) screening and early detection can effectively decrease the morbidity and mortality associated with this disease. Health care providers (HCPs) working in primary care settings as the first contact with the health care system can play a pivotal role in cancer prevention and screening for early detection. The purpose of this study was to explore the knowledge, experiences, and perceived barriers to CRC screening among HCPs working in primary care settings. A cross-sectional design and a self-administered questionnaire (SAQ) was used to collect data from 236 HCPs working in health centers in Jordan. The 236 HCPs were nurses (45.8%), physicians (45.3%), and others (7.2%). A third of the HCPs (30%) knew the recommended age to begin CRC screening for patients with average risk. Overall physicians scored higher than nurses on questions assessing CRC screening knowledge. The majority of HCPs were not knowledgeable about CRC screening recommendations but believed that CRC is preventable (75.8%). The main perceived barriers to CRC screening were patient's fear of finding out that they have cancer and lack of awareness about CRC screening tests, shortage of trained HCPs to conduct invasive screening procedures, and lack of policy/protocol on CRC screening. HCPs working in primary care settings in Jordan do not have adequate knowledge about CRC screening. There is a need for tailored continuing educational programs and other interventions to improve HCPs' knowledge, as this can increase CRC screening in primary care settings and compliance with current screening guidelines.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Early Detection of Cancer / standards
  • Early Detection of Cancer / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Personnel*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Primary Health Care / standards*
  • Prognosis
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult