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Gastrointest Endosc. 2012 Jul;76(1):126-35. doi: 10.1016/j.gie.2012.03.168.

Knowledge of, attitudes toward, and barriers to participation of colorectal cancer screening tests in the Asia-Pacific region: a multicenter study.

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  • 1Faculty of Medicine, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.



The rapid increase in the incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) in the Asia-Pacific region in the past decade has resulted in recommendations to implement mass CRC screening programs. However, the knowledge of screening and population screening behaviors between countries is largely lacking.


This multicenter, international study investigated the association of screening test participation with knowledge of, attitudes toward, and barriers to CRC and screening tests in different cultural and sociopolitical contexts.


Person-to-person interviews by using a standardized survey instrument were conducted with subjects from 14 Asia-Pacific countries/regions to assess the prevailing screening participation rates, knowledge of and attitudes toward and barriers to CRC and screening tests, intent to participate, and cues to action. Independent predictors of the primary endpoint, screening participation was determined from subanalyses performed for high-, medium-, and low-participation countries.


A total of 7915 subjects (49% male, 37.8% aged 50 years and older) were recruited. Of the respondents aged 50 years and older, 809 (27%) had undergone previous CRC testing; the Philippines (69%), Australia (48%), and Japan (38%) had the highest participation rates, whereas India (1.5%), Malaysia (3%), Indonesia (3%), Pakistan (7.5%), and Brunei (13.7%) had the lowest rates. Physician recommendation and knowledge of screening tests were significant predictors of CRC test uptake. In countries with low-test participation, lower perceived access barriers and higher perceived severity were independent predictors of participation. Respondents from low-participation countries had the least knowledge of symptoms, risk factors, and tests and reported the lowest physician recommendation rates. "Intent to undergo screening" and "perceived need for screening" was positively correlated in most countries; however, this was offset by financial and access barriers.


Ethnic heterogeneity may exist in each country that was not addressed. In addition, the participation tests and physician recommendation recalls were self-reported.


In the Asia-Pacific region, considerable differences were evident in the participation of CRC tests, physician recommendations, and knowledge of, attitudes toward, and barriers to CRC screening. Physician recommendation was the uniform predictor of screening behavior in all countries. Before implementing mass screening programs, improving awareness of CRC and promoting the physicians' role are necessary to increase the screening participation rates.

Copyright © 2012 American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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