Attitudes, knowledge and practice of CRC screening among GPs in Queensland

Philippa H Youl, Claire Jackson, Brian Oldenburg, Christopher Brown, Jeff Dunn, Joanne Aitken
Australian Family Physician 2006, 35 (7): 547-50

BACKGROUND: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the most common invasive cancer in Australia. Randomised trials have shown that mortality from CRC can be reduced with the use of screening modalities such as faecal occult blood testing (FOBT). This study sought to determine current attitudes, knowledge and practices of general practitioners in relation to CRC screening.

METHODS: A cross sectional survey of 1500 GPs in Queensland.

RESULTS: Responses were received from 769 (55.6%) GPs. Fifty-three percent of GPs recommended using FOBT for asymptomatic patients over 50 years of age and 18.6% would recommend colonoscopy in such patients. Compared to a previous survey, GPs are now more likely to use FOBT (RR: 2.01, 95% CI: 1.58-2.56). Two-thirds (66.7%) would support a population based screening program using FOBT, an increase of 16% over 3 years.

DISCUSSION: Current use of FOBT in asymptomatic patients, support for population based FOBT, and knowledge of the benefits of CRC screening has increased significantly from previous surveys.

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