A study of patient acceptance of double-contrast barium enema and colonoscopy. Which procedure is preferred by patients?

Arch Intern Med. 1987 Dec;147(12):2175-6. doi: 10.1001/archinte.147.12.2175.


To our knowledge, no previous study has addressed the question of which method of evaluation of the lower gastrointestinal tract is preferred by patients, air-contrast barium enema or colonoscopy. Over a four-month period, we asked 189 consecutive patients who had undergone colonoscopy to express their preference for either air-contrast barium enema or colonoscopy. A clear preference for colonoscopy was expressed by our patients in terms of comfort and polyp detection despite higher cost. Time lost from work and post-procedure constipation were significantly less for colonoscopy than for barium enema. These factors should be considered in the evaluation of suspected lower gastrointestinal tract disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Barium*
  • Colonoscopy*
  • Enema*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*


  • Barium