Background/objective Colorectal cancer (CRC) screening is proven to reduce CRC-related mortality. Faecal immunochemical testing (FIT)-positive clients in the Irish National CRC Screening Programme underwent colonoscopy. Round 1 uptake was 40.2%. We sought to identify barriers to participation by assessing knowledge of CRC screening and examining attitudes towards FIT test and colonoscopy.
Methods Questionnaires based on a modified Champion’s Health Belief Model were mailed to 3500 invitees: 1000 FIT-positive, 1000 FIT-negative and 1500 non-participants. 44% responded: 550 (46%) FIT-positive, 577 (48%) FIT-negative and 69 (6%) non-responders (NR).
Results 25% of respondents (n=286) did not perceive a personal risk of cancer, did not perceive CRC to be a serious disease and did not perceive benefits to screening. These opinions were more likely to be expressed by men (p=0.035). One-fifth (n=251) found screening stressful. Fear of cancer diagnosis and test results were associated with stress. FIT-positive clients, women and those with social medical insurance were more likely to experience stress.
Conclusions The CRC screening process causes stress to one-fifth of participants. Greater use of media and involvement of healthcare professionals in disseminating information on the benefits of screening may lead to higher uptake in round 2.
- colorectal cancer screening
- colorectal cancer
Data availability statement
All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information. all data is uploaded as supplementary information.
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Contributors SO'R: study concept and design, acquisition, analysis and interpretation of data, drafting of and critical revision of manuscript; KNH: acquisition and analysis of data; TM: acquisition of data, material support, study supervision; PF: study supervision; DO’D: study concept and design, supervision; SM: acquisition of data, material support; MC: study concept and design; ER: study concept and design; GD:
study concept and design, critical revision of manuscript; OM: analysis and interpretation of data, statistical analysis; HEM: analysis and interpretation of data, statistical analysis; GC: study concept and design, critical revision of manuscript for important intellectual content, obtained funding, study supervision.
Funding The first author completed this research during her term as a Newman Fellow (University College Dublin), sponsored by Boston Scientific.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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