Irish Journal of Medical Science

, Volume 180, Issue 1, pp 103–108 | Cite as

A comparative study of faecal occult blood kits in a colorectal cancer screening program in a cohort of healthy construction workers

  • M. Shuhaibar
  • C. Walsh
  • F. Lindsay
  • N. Lee
  • P. Walsh
  • P. O’Gorman
  • G. Boran
  • R. McLoughlin
  • A. Qasim
  • N. Breslin
  • B. Ryan
  • H. O’Connor
  • C. O’Morain
Original Article



The incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) has been increasing. We evaluated uptake rates and outcomes of faecal immunochemical test (FIT) and Guaiac test (gFOBT) kits as part of a two-step CRC screening.


A 3-year CRC screening program for a defined population of construction workers was conducted. Those satisfying the inclusion criteria were provided with gFOBT or FIT kits. Individuals testing positive were invited for a colonoscopy.


A total of 909 faecal testing kits were distributed. Age range was 53–60 years. Compliance rate was higher for FIT (58.3%) as compared to gFOBT (46.7%) (p = 0.0006). FIT detected adenomatous polyps and CRC in 37.5 and 25%, respectively, whereas; gFOBT detected 23.5 and 18%. Colonoscopies were normal in 53 and 25% tested positive by gFOBT and FIT, respectively (p = 0.016).


The FIT was more cost-effective when compared with gFOBT with higher return rate, sensitivity and specificity. A comparative study of faecal occult blood kits in a CRC screening program in a healthy cohort of construction workers.


Colorectal cancer (CRC) Screening FIT (faecal immunochemical testing) gFOBT (gauaic faecal occult blood test) Adenomas Uptake rates Outcomes 



The authors would like to acknowledge the Meath foundation and the Irish Construction Workers Health Trust for their support. We would like to thank all the staff at the Endoscopy Unit and the histopathology department in our university hospital.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Shuhaibar
    • 1
  • C. Walsh
    • 2
  • F. Lindsay
    • 1
  • N. Lee
    • 1
  • P. Walsh
    • 3
  • P. O’Gorman
    • 3
  • G. Boran
    • 3
  • R. McLoughlin
    • 1
  • A. Qasim
    • 1
  • N. Breslin
    • 1
  • B. Ryan
    • 1
  • H. O’Connor
    • 1
  • C. O’Morain
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Gastroenterology/Clinical MedicineTrinity College Dublin, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, The Adelaide and Meath Hospital, Dublin Incorporating The National Children’s HospitalDublinIreland
  2. 2.Department of StatisticsTrinity College Dublin, The Adelaide and Meath Hospital, Dublin Incorporating The National Children’s HospitalDublinIreland
  3. 3.Department of Clinical ChemistryTrinity College Dublin, The Adelaide and Meath Hospital, Dublin Incorporating The National Children’s HospitalDublinIreland

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