Background: Compliance rates for colorectal cancer (CRC) screening are much lower than those desired. Appropriate information on CRC risks and screening methods is supposed to stimulate motivation for screening. We aimed to identify parameters associated with the decision for CRC screening and colonoscopy in a population expected to have high awareness of disease prevention.
Methods: In a single-center, cross-sectional study, we used an anonymous questionnaire (AQ) to record the demographics, habits and screening behavior for cancers and other common diseases of all employees older than 50 years in our hospital.
Results: Among 287 active employees, 83% (n=237) answered the AQ (age 55±4 years). Thirty percent (n=70) underwent colonoscopy while 17% (n=40) underwent CRC screening (39/40) colonoscopy). Comparatively, among women 97% had a Pap-smear, 92% a mammography, while among men 83% had been tested for serum prostate-specific antigen. Age, male sex, alcohol consumption and university education correlated positively with CRC screening (P<0.05 for all). After multivariate analysis, university education remained an independent determinant of CRC screening (OR 2.488, 95%CI 1.096-5.648; P=0.029). Among subjects who had not undergone colonoscopy in the past, ignorance of the need for CRC screening (OR 0.360, 95%CI 0.150-0.867; P=0.023) and indifference to undergo such a procedure (OR 0.188, 95%CI 0.066-0.537; P=0.002) were independent determinants for not planning a future screening colonoscopy.
Conclusions: Education was the most important factor in the decision to undergo CRC screening. Colonoscopy was the preferred screening method. Ignorance of and indifference to CRC risks were the major obstacles for a future screening colonoscopy.