Complete diagnostic evaluation in colorectal cancer screening: Research design and baseline findings

Ronald E. Myers, Barbara Turner, David Weinberg, Walter W. Hauck, Terry Hyslop, Timothy Brigham, Todd Rothermel, James Grana, Neil Schlackman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background. While indicated by guidelines, complete diagnostic evaluation, or CDE (i.e., colonoscopy or combined flexible sigmoidoscopy plus barium enema X ray), is often not recommended and performed for persons with an abnormal screening fecal occult blood test (FOBT) result. We initiated a randomized trial to assess the impact of a physician-oriented intervention on CDE rates in primary care practices. Methods. In 1998, we identified 1,184 primary care physicians (PCPs) in 584 practices whose patients received FOBTs that are mailed annually by a managed care organization screening program. A total of 470 PCPs in 318 practices completed a baseline survey. Practices were randomly assigned either to a Control Group (N = 198) or to an Intervention Group (N = 120). Control Group practices received the screening program. Intervention Group practices received the screening program and the intervention (i.e., CDE reminder-feedback plus educational outreach). Practice CDE recommendation and performance rates are the primary outcomes to be measured in the study. Results. Baseline CDE recommendation and performance rates were low and were comparable in Control and Intervention Group practices (54 to 57% and 39 to 40%, respectively). PCPs in the practices tended to view FOBT screening and CDE favorably, but had concerns about screening efficacy, time involved in CDE, and patient discomfort and adherence. Control Group physicians were more likely than Intervention Group physicians to believe that a mail-out FOBT screening program helps in the practice of medicine. Conclusions. We were able to enroll a high proportion of targeted primary care practices, measure practice characteristics and CDE rates at baseline, and develop and implement the intervention. Study outcome analyses will take into account baseline differences in practice characteristics,

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-260
Number of pages12
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Colorectal neoplasms
  • Diagnosis
  • Mass screening
  • Physician's role
  • Prevention and control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Complete diagnostic evaluation in colorectal cancer screening: Research design and baseline findings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this