Adults with disabilities screened less often for colorectal cancer: 4 study insights

Columbia-based University of Missouri researchers found individuals with disabilities were less likely to receive preventive colorectal cancer screenings, according to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Assistant Professor of Biostatistics at MU Chelsea Deroche, PhD, and colleagues reviewed data from South Carolina Medicaid and Medicare claims, state health plan claims and hospital discharge data from 2000 to 2009. They compiled screening rates for individuals with low vision, intellectual disability or spinal cord injuries.

Here's what they found.

1. Of the general population, 48 percent received a routine screening.

2. Blind or low vision individuals received screenings 46 percent of the time.

3. Individuals with spinal cord injuries claimed a 45 percent screening rate.

4. Only 34 percent of individuals with intellectual disabilities reported being routinely screened.

Researchers concluded, "These individuals may not be routinely screened for colorectal cancer due to a lack of education and awareness, transportation challenges or other barriers. These findings support the need for increased awareness and targeted advocacy outreach efforts to both physicians and caregivers to ensure all individuals are screened appropriately.”

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