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Am J Gastroenterol. 2007 Nov;102(11):2401-10. Epub 2007 Jun 29.

Patient time requirements for screening colonoscopy.

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1
Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To measure the amount of time patients spend in the screening colonoscopy process.

METHODS:

We recruited patients from a university endoscopy center scheduled to undergo screening colonoscopy. Participants completed a time diary for the screening colonoscopy process to account for time spent in preparation, travel, waiting, colonoscopy, and recovery.

RESULTS:

A total of 110 subjects completed the study. The sample was 57% female, 85% white, and 90% insured (40% Medicare, 4% Medicaid). Patients spent a median of about 21 h in the screening colonoscopy process for preparation, travel, waiting, colonoscopy, and onsite recovery. They invested a median of 16.5 h in preparation, 1.1 h traveling, 1.4 h waiting, 12 minutes for sedation, and 20 minutes for colonoscopy. Median time spent at the endoscopy center was 2.8 h. Median onsite recovery time was 47 minutes. Median time from the completion of the colonoscopy procedure until returning to routine activities was 17.7 h. Median time from the completion of the colonoscopy procedure until feeling completely back to normal was 19.9 h. Patient time requirements were sensitive to having a history of depression, type of person accompanying the patient, income, and employment status.

CONCLUSIONS:

Screening colonoscopy requires a substantial commitment of time. A small portion of that time is spent at the endoscopy center or having the colonoscopy. The majority of that time is spent in preparation and recovery. Time is a potential barrier to screening, but advances in preparation and sedation practices could reduce the time required for patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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