The effect of self-administered faecal occult blood tests on compliance with screening for colorectal cancer: results of a survey of those invited.
Hunter W., Farmer A., Mant D., Verne J., Northover J., Fitzpatrick R.
To determine the relative importance of health beliefs and the characteristics of different methods of faecal occult blood screening in predicting acceptance of the test a self completed questionnaire was offered to 590 patients registered with a practice in an Oxfordshire market town. The patients were an age-sex stratified random sample of those who had been offered screening as part of a trial in which one of three different faecal occult blood screening tests, two of which were self-reported, had been offered. The overall adjusted response rate was 70.1%. Those who complied with the test had more positive attitudes to the implications of a positive test, to treatment and to the value of screening in general. The experience of a close relative or friend with bowel cancer was associated with an increased likelihood of compliance [odds ratio = 15.2 (9.4-24.3)]. Three were marked differences between the tests in the proportions of patients finding them 'messy' or 'disgusting' (Haemoccult 72.0%, Coloscreen 48.0%, Early Detector 55.4% chi 2 Haemoccult vs. self-reported = 5.05 P less than 0.05), and the odds of finding the procedure disgusting were significantly higher among patients who did not complete the test [odds ratio 6.9 (3.1-15.5)].