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Cancer Causes Control. 2011 Dec;22(12):1659-68. doi: 10.1007/s10552-011-9842-4. Epub 2011 Oct 5.

The influence of physicians on colorectal cancer screening behavior.

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Division of Medical Oncology, British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver Clinic, 600 W. 10th Ave, Vancouver, BC, Canada.



Our aims were to determine clinical factors associated with colorectal cancer (CRC) screening and to evaluate the relative role of patient contact with physicians and the quality of these patient-physician interactions in affecting screening.


Screening-eligible patients were identified from the Health Information National Trends Survey. Determinants of CRC screening were assessed with logistic regression, and a joint effects model that considered the frequency and quality of contact with physicians was developed to explore their influence on screening.


There were 4,615 respondents of whom only 66% reported receiving CRC screening. Older age, personal history of non-CRC, family history of any cancer, high-income earners, individuals who visited their physicians ≥5 times per year, and those who rated the interactions with their physicians highly were more likely to be screened (all p < 0.05). The joint effects model revealed that quality rather than frequency of physician contact was a stronger predictor of CRC screening, but the odds of screening was highest for those who experienced both frequent and high-quality interactions with their physicians.


Contact with physicians and the quality of this interaction are associated with screening behavior. Interventions to improve these provider-related factors may promote CRC screening.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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