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BMC Health Serv Res. 2006 Sep 13;6:116.

Predictors of colorectal cancer screening in diverse primary care practices.

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  • 1Department of Family Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 3518 5th Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.



To explain why rates of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening including fecal occult blood testing (FOBT), flexible sigmoidoscopy (FS), colonoscopy (CS), and barium enema (BE), are low, this study assessed determinants of CRC screening from medical records.


Data were abstracted from patients aged > or =64 years selected from each clinician from 30 diverse primary care practices (n = 981). Measurements included the rates of annual FOBT, ever receiving FOBT, ever receiving FS/CS/BE under a combination variable, endoscopy/barium enema (EBE).


Over five years, 8% had received annual FOBT, 53% had ever received FOBT and 22% had ever received EBE. Annual FOBT was negatively associated with female gender, odds ratio (OR) = .23; 95% confidence interval = .12-.44 and positively associated with routinely receiving influenza vaccine, OR = 2.55 (1.45-4.47); and more office visits: 3 to <5 visits/year, OR = 2.78 (1.41-5.51), and > or =5 visits/year, OR = 3.35 (1.52-7.42). Ever receiving EBE was negatively associated with age > or =75 years, OR = .66 (.46-.95); being widowed, OR = .59 (.38-.92); and positively associated with more office visits: 3 to <5 visits/year, OR = 1.83 (1.18-2.82) and > or =5 visits/year, OR = 2.01 (1.14-3.55).


Overall CRC screening rates were low, but were related to the number of primary care office visits. FOBT was related to immunization status, suggesting the possible benefit of linking these preventive services.

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