Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 64, Issue 2, pp 391–400 | Cite as

Poor Knowledge of Colorectal Cancer Screening and Surveillance Guidelines in a National Cohort of Digestive Disease Specialists

  • Rushad Patell
  • Abhishek Karwa
  • Rocio Lopez
  • Carol A. BurkeEmail author
Original Article



Colorectal cancer (CRC) screening is cost-effective and prevents death from CRC if used appropriately. Physicians do not recommend CRC screening according to guidelines. Physician-related factors associated with CRC screening knowledge are unknown.


We tested the accuracy of CRC screening knowledge in a nationwide cohort of practicing and trainee physicians and assessed respondent’s interest in a mobile app to improve appropriate CRC screening use.


An electronic survey was emailed to practicing gastroenterology professionals and medical and surgical trainees. We assessed accuracy of responses compared to CRC screening and surveillance guidelines. We assessed factors associated with higher accuracy of knowledge, frequency of workplace smartphone use, and interest in a smartphone app to aid CRC screening and surveillance recommendations.


In total, 1432 responses were received. Hundred percent accuracy was noted in 22% of respondents for screening and 37% for surveillance. Factors associated with higher accuracy of screening guidelines included more recent training completion; academic practice; performing 21–100 colonoscopies per month (vs. < 21 or > 100). Higher accuracy of surveillance guidelines was associated with more recent training completion; academic practice; being a third-year fellow. In total, 53% use smartphones at least “often” in patient care. In total, 87% would use a CRC screening and surveillance smartphone app.


Accuracy in applying CRC screening guidelines by gastroenterologists is poor. Smartphone use for patient care is prevalent. Our data show a high interest in a CRC screening/surveillance mobile app. Mobile tools appear an opportunity for rapid access and an increased adherence to CRC screening guidelines.


Colorectal neoplasm Guideline Gastroenterologists Preventive medicine 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

None to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rushad Patell
    • 1
  • Abhishek Karwa
    • 2
  • Rocio Lopez
    • 3
  • Carol A. Burke
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Hematology OncologyBeth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of MedicineMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA
  3. 3.Center for Populations Health ResearchCleveland Clinic FoundationClevelandUSA
  4. 4.Department of Gastroenterology and HepatologyCleveland Clinic FoundationClevelandUSA

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