Journal of Cancer Education

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 687–694 | Cite as

Colorectal Cancer Screening Practices in Alabama: A Survey of Primary Care Physicians

  • Kathryn Chapman
  • Keith NichollsEmail author
  • Margaret M. Sullivan
  • Susan Crutchfield
  • Thomas Shaw
  • Allen Perkins
  • Eddie Reed


In order to inform efforts to increase screening rates for colorectal cancer (CRC), we conducted a survey of Alabama primary care physicians regarding CRC screening practices, educational preferences, and perceptions of obstacles to screening. A mail survey of 2,378 Alabama physicians in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Obstetrics & Gynecology was conducted. Many physicians are not fully up-to-date with current CRC screening practices that could improve patient compliance with screening guidelines. One example is the potential use of high-sensitivity stool tests, such as the fecal immunochemical test, instead of the no longer recommended low-sensitivity guaiac fecal occult blood tests. In addition, enhanced multimedia and web-based approaches to educating physicians and patients could be more fully utilized. Further, greater use of health information technologies could increase screening rates. Enhancing primary care physicians' knowledge of screening modalities and increasing their use of electronic technology could significantly improve colorectal cancer screening outcomes.


Colorectal cancer Fecal immunochemical test Alabama Low- and high-sensitivity guaiac fecal occult blood tests 



This journal article was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Cooperative agreement number U58/DP002055. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views of the CDC.

Conflicts of Interest

None of the authors of this article has any financial conflict of interest relevant to the project or any other conflicts that would require disclosure.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathryn Chapman
    • 4
  • Keith Nicholls
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Margaret M. Sullivan
    • 1
  • Susan Crutchfield
    • 1
  • Thomas Shaw
    • 2
  • Allen Perkins
    • 5
  • Eddie Reed
    • 1
  1. 1.USA Mitchell Cancer InstituteUniversity of South AlabamaMobileUSA
  2. 2.USA Polling GroupUniversity of South AlabamaMobileUSA
  3. 3.Political Science DepartmentUniversity of South AlabamaMobileUSA
  4. 4.Cancer Prevention Program, Alabama FITWAY Colorectal Cancer Prevention Program, Bureau of Family Health ServicesAlabama Department of Public HealthMontgomeryUSA
  5. 5.Department of Family MedicineUniversity of South AlabamaMobileUSA

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