National survey of patient factors associated with colorectal cancer screening preferences

Xuan Zhu, Philip D. Parks, Emily Weiser, Kristin Fischer, Joan M. Griffin, Paul J. Limburg, Lila J. Finney Rutten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recommended colorectal cancer screening modalities vary with respect to safety, efficacy, and cost. Better understanding of the factors that influence patient preference is, therefore, critical for improving population adherence to colorectal cancer screening. To address this knowledge gap, we conducted a panel survey focused on three commonly utilized colorectal cancer screening options [fecal immunochemical test or guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (FIT/gFOBT), multi-target stool DNA (mt-sDNA) test, and colonoscopy] with a national sample of U.S. adults, ages 40-75 years and at average risk of colorectal cancer, in November 2019. Of 5,097 panelists invited to participate, 1,595 completed the survey (completion rate, 31.3%). Our results showed that when presented a choice between two colorectal cancer screening modalities, more respondents preferred mt-sDNA (65.4%) over colonoscopy, FIT/gFOBT (61%) over colonoscopy, and mt-sDNA (66.9%) over FIT/gFOBT. Certain demographic characteristics and awareness of and/or experience with various screening modalities influenced preferences. For example, uninsured people were more likely to prefer stool-based tests over colonoscopy [OR, 2.53; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.22-5.65 and OR, 2.73; 95% CI, 1.13-7.47]. People who had heard of stool-based screening were more likely to prefer mt-sDNA over FIT/gFOBT (OR, 2.07; 95% CI, 1.26-3.40). People who previously had a stool-based test were more likely to prefer FIT/gFOBT over colonoscopy (OR, 2.75; 95% CI, 1.74-4.41), while people who previously had a colonoscopy were less likely to prefer mt-sDNA or FIT/gFOBT over colonoscopy (OR, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.24-0.63 and OR, 0.40; 95% CI, 0.26-0.62). Our survey demonstrated broad patient preference for stool-based tests over colonoscopy, contrasting the heavy reliance on colonoscopy for colorectal cancer screening in clinical practice and highlighting the importance of considering patient preference in colorectal cancer screening recommendations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)603-613
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Prevention Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'National survey of patient factors associated with colorectal cancer screening preferences'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this