Colorectal cancer screening perceptions and practices: Results from a national survey of gastroenterology, surgery and radiology trainees

Amy S. Oxentenko, Robert A. Vierkant, Darrell S. Pardi, David R. Farley, Eric J. Dozois, Thomas E. Hartman, David M. Hough, Wesley O. Petersen, Carrie N. Klabunde, Katherine Sharpe, John H. Bond, Robert A. Smith, Bernard Levin, John B. Pope, Paul C. Schroy, Paul J. Limburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background. Colorectal cancer (CRC) screening in the United States is suboptimal. We conducted a national survey to learn about CRC screening perceptions and practices among trainees who perform CRC screening tests including those enrolled in Gastroenterology and Hepatology (GIH), General and Colorectal Surgery, and Diagnostic and Abdominal Radiology training programs. Methods. Program directors/administrators (PDs/PAs) from 642 programs were contacted by e-mail with an invitation to forward our survey to trainees in their programs. Participating trainees then completed an anonymous, Web-based questionnaire. Results. A total of 130/642 (20%) PDs/PAs forwarded our survey to their trainees, with responses received from 476 trainees (80 GIH, 261 surgery, 135 radiology). Colonoscopy was felt to be the best CRC screening test at reducing CRC mortality, with patient-related factors perceived as greater barriers than system-related factors. No single guideline was deemed very influential on CRC screening practices by most trainees. A total of 2 of 5 above-average risk patient profiles were not recognized by most trainees. Colonoscopy was selected as the preferred follow-up test for a positive CRC screening test by most trainees. However, 34% of respondents chose an option other than colonoscopy alone for follow-up of a positive fecal occult blood test. Conclusions. Based on data from this national survey of gastroenterology, surgery, and radiology trainees, opportunities exist for curricular changes that may help enhance current perceptions and practices of trainees who perform CRC screening tests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-226
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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