Published online Aug 28, 2006. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v12.i32.5201
Revised: March 20, 2006
Accepted: March 27, 2006
Published online: August 28, 2006
AIM: To find out whether there are differences in attitudes about colorectal cancer (CRC) screening among gastrointestinal (GI) specialists and general practitioners (GPs) and which method is preferred in a national screening program
METHODS: Four hundred and twenty Dutch GI specialists in the Netherlands and 400 GPs in Amsterdam were questioned in 2004. Questions included demographics, affiliation, attitude towards screening both for the general population and themselves, methods of screening, family history and individual risk.
RESULTS: Eighty-four percent of the GI specialists returned the questionnaire in comparison to 32% of the GPs (P < 0.001). Among the GI specialists, 92% favoured population screening whereas 51% of GPs supported population screening (P < 0.001). Of the GI specialists 95% planned to be screened themselves, while 30% of GPs intended to do so (P < 0.001). Regarding the general population, 72% of the GI specialists preferred colonoscopy as the screening method compared to 27% of the GPs (P < 0.001). The method preferred for personal screening was colonoscopy in 97% of the GI specialists, while 29% of the GPs favoured colonoscopy (P < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Screening for CRC is strongly supported by Dutch GI specialists and less by GPs. The major health issue is possibly misjudged by GPs. Since GPs play a crucial role in a successful national screening program, CRC awareness should be realized by increasing knowledge about the incidence and mortality, thus increasing awareness of the need for screening among GPs.