Objective: To assess health care provider (HCP) preferences related to colorectal cancer (CRC) screening overall, and by HCP and patient characteristics. Participants and Methods: We developed a survey based on the Theoretical Domains Framework to assess factors associated with CRC screening preferences in clinical practice. The survey was administered online November 6 through December 6, 2019, to a validated panel of HCPs drawn from US national databases and professional organizations. The final analysis sample included 779 primary care clinicians (PCCs) and 159 gastroenterologists (GIs). Results: HCPs chose colonoscopy as their preferred screening method for average-risk patients (96.9% (154/159) for GIs, 75.7% (590/779) for PCCs). Among PCCs, 12.2% (95/779) preferred multi-target stool DNA (mt-sDNA), followed by fecal immunochemical test (FIT), (7.3%; 57/779) and guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (gFOBT) (4.8%; 37/779). Preference among PCCs and GIs generally shifted toward noninvasive screening options for patients who were unable to undergo invasive procedures; concerned about taking time from work; unconvinced about need for screening; and refusing other screening recommendations. Among PCCs, preference for mt-sDNA over FIT and gFOBT was less frequent in larger compared with smaller clinical practices. Additionally, preference for mt-sDNA over FIT was more likely among PCCs with more years of clinical experience, higher patient volumes (> 25/day), and practice locations in suburban and rural settings (compared to urban). Conclusion: Both PCCs and GIs preferred colonoscopy for CRC screening of average-risk patients, although PCCs did so less frequently and with approximately a quarter preferring stool-based tests (particularly mt-sDNA). PCCs’ preference varied by provider and patient characteristics. Our findings underscore the importance of informed choice and shared decision-making about CRC screening options.
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