Objectives: It is unclear if provider recommendations regarding colorectal cancer (CRC) screening modalities affect patient compliance. We evaluated provider-patient communications about CRC screening with and without a specific screening modality recommendation on patient compliance with screening guidelines.
Methods: We used the 2007 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) and identified 4283 respondents who were at least 50 years of age and answered questions about their communication with their care providers and CRC screening uptake. We defined being compliant with CRC screening as the use of fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) within 1 year, sigmoidoscopy within 5 years, or colonoscopy within 10 years. We used survey weights in all analyses.
Results: CRC screening discussions occurred with 3320 (76.2%) respondents. Approximately 95% of these discussions were with physicians. Overall, 2793 (62.6%) respondents were current with CRC screening regardless of the screening modality. Discussion about screening (odds ratio (OR)=8.83; 95% confidence interval (CI): 7.20-10.84) and providers making a specific recommendation about screening modality rather than leaving it to the patient to decide (OR=2.04; 95% CI: 1.54-2.68) were associated with patient compliance with CRC screening guidelines.
Conclusion: Compliance with CRC screening guidelines is improved when providers discuss options and make specific screening test recommendations.
Keywords: Colon cancer; Colonoscopy; HINTS; Screening; Sigmoidoscopy; Stool blood test.
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