Cross-sectional survey on awareness of colorectal cancer and a screening programme for primary health care professionals in Catalonia, Spain

Eur J Cancer Care (Engl). 2016 Nov;25(6):992-1004. doi: 10.1111/ecc.12450. Epub 2016 Feb 16.


This study aimed to assess whether primary health care professionals have accurate information regarding colorectal cancer (CRC) screening procedures, surveillance recommendations and referral strategies. This cross-sectional descriptive study was based on a survey conducted among primary health care professionals in Barcelona, Spain. The questionnaire was used to gather information regarding CRC screening procedures as well as demographic and professional characteristics of the study subjects. A CRC and screening awareness score (ranging from 0 to 12) was created based on the survey questions. The response rate was 58.9% (206/305). The estimated mean score (standard deviation) was 8.43 (SD: 1.30). For four questions, more than 60% of the answers were incorrect: one related to risk factors, two concerning follow-up colonoscopy, and one related to surveillance. Only 30.8% of the participants believed that they were responsible for determining the appropriate surveillance intervals and for scheduling colonoscopies. Although the professionals had sufficient knowledge of CRC screening, professional knowledge of some aspects related to the major non-modifiable risk factors for the disease and surveillance colonoscopy procedures could be improved. Frequent communication with professionals is necessary to maintain updated screening-related information. Possible methods for facilitating communication could include continuous briefings, regular message reminders or educational websites.

Keywords: colorectal cancer; general practitioner; nurse; primary health care; screening.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Awareness*
  • Colonoscopy / psychology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / psychology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Personnel / education
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Spain
  • Surveys and Questionnaires