The rates of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening in the U.S. remain below national targets, so many people at risk are not being screened. The objective of this qualitative research project was to assess patient and provider knowledge and preferences about CRC screening modalities and specifically the use of the fecal immunochemical test (FIT) as a first line screening choice. Nine focus groups were conducted with a medically underserved patient population and qualitative interviews were administered to their medical providers. Thematic analysis was used to synthesize key findings. Both providers and patients thought that the FIT would be a good option for CRC screening both as an individual choice and for an overall program approach. The test is less expensive and therefore more readily available for patients compared to colonoscopy. Overall, there was consensus that the FIT offers a reasonably priced, simple approach to CRC screening which has broad appeal to both providers and patients. Concerns identified by patients and providers included the possibility of false positives with the FIT which could be caused by test contamination or failing to perform the test properly. Patients also described feelings of disgust toward performing the FIT and difficulties in following the instructions. Study findings indicate provider and patient support for using the FIT for CRC screening at both the individual and system-wide levels of implementation. While barriers to the use of the FIT were listed, benefits of using the FIT were perceived as positive motivators to engage previously unscreened and uninsured or under-insured individuals in CRC screening.
Journal of Community Health – Springer Journals
Published: May 16, 2018