Patients more likely to undergo CRC screening when physicians are screened — 3 insights

Patients are more likely to get screened for colorectal cancer if their provider has also been screened, according to a study published in Gastroenterology.

Researchers examined 45,736 patients from Ontario, Canada, between the ages of 52 and 74 years and examined a list of 11,434 registered physicians in the province. The physicians were matched to non-physicians by age, gender and residential location. Researchers then analyzed CRC screening habits of both subsets.

What they found:

1. About 67.9 percent of physicians and 66.9 percent of non-physicians underwent a CRC screening test.

2. Physicians more often chose colonoscopy (prevalence ratio 1.24) than fecal occult blood test (prevalence ratio 0.44).

3. Patients with family physicians who had been screened were more likely to pursue a screening (prevalence ratio 1.10).

Researchers concluded: "Patients are more likely to be tested if their family physician has been tested. There is an opportunity for physicians to increase their participation in colorectal cancer screening, which could in turn motivate their patients to undergo screening."

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