Bringing an Organizational Perspective to the Optimal Number of Colorectal Cancer Screening Options Debate
First Online: 14 September 2011 Received: 07 January 2011 Revised: 03 August 2011 Accepted: 29 August 2011 DOI:
10.1007/s11606-011-1870-y Cite this article as: Partin, M.R., Powell, A.A., Burgess, D.J. et al. J GEN INTERN MED (2012) 27: 376. doi:10.1007/s11606-011-1870-y Abstract
Improving colorectal cancer (CRC) screening rates represents a challenge for primary care providers. Some have argued that offering a choice of CRC screening modes to patients will improve the currently low adherence rates. Others have raised concerns that offering numerous CRC screening options in practice could overwhelm patients and thus dampen enthusiasm for screening. In this article we assemble evidence to critically evaluate the relative merit of these opposing views. We find little evidence to support the hypothesis that the number of options offered will affect adherence (either positively or negatively), or that expanding the modalities offered beyond FOBT and colonoscopy will improve patient satisfaction. Therefore, we assert future decisions about the number of CRC screening modes to offer would more productively be focused on considerations such as what benefit the health-care organization would derive from offering additional modes, and how this change would affect other critical components of a successful screening program such as timely diagnosis. In light of these organizational level considerations, we agree with the assertion made by others that a screening program limited to FOBT and colonoscopy is likely to be ideal in most settings.
KEY WORDS colorectal neoplasms mass screening choice behavior decision making organizational decision making References
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