Health Care Provider Characteristics Associated With Colorectal Cancer Screening Preferences and Use

Lila J. Finney Rutten, Philip D. Parks, Emily Weiser, Chun Fan, Debra J. Jacobson, Gregory D. Jenkins, Xuan Zhu, Joan M. Griffin, Paul J. Limburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-109
Number of pages9
JournalMayo Clinic proceedings
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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