Increasing referral rate for screening colonoscopy through patient education and activation at a primary care clinic in New York City

Pathu Sriphanlop, Marie Oliva Hennelly, Dylan Sperling, Cristina Villagra, Lina Jandorf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective Colorectal cancer could be prevented through regular screening. Individuals age 50 and older are recommended to get screened via colonoscopy. Because physician referral is a major predictor of colonoscopy completion, two low-cost, evidence-based interventions were tested to increase referrals by activating patients to self-advocate. Methods This study compared the impact of a pre-visit educational handout that prompts patients to discuss colonoscopy with their physician with the handout plus brief counseling through exit interviews and chart reviews. The main outcome was physician referral. Results Medical charts were reviewed for eligibility: 130 control patients (Arm 1), 45 patients who received the educational handout and health counseling (Arm 2), and 50 patients who received only the handout (Arm 3). Colonoscopy referral rates increased from 24.6% in Arm 1 to 44.4% and 52.0% in Arms 2 and 3, respectively (p = 0.001). The proportion of exit interview participants who discussed colonoscopy with their doctor increased from 68.8% in Arm 1 to 76.5% and 88.9% in Arms 2 and 3, respectively. Conclusions Results indicate that both interventions are effective at increasing colonoscopy referrals. Practical implications : Results suggest that an educational handout alone is sufficient in prompting patient-initiated discussions about colonoscopy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1427-1431
Number of pages5
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Volume99
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2016

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Cancer screening
  • Colonoscopy
  • Colorectal cancer screening
  • Patient activation
  • Patient education
  • Quality improvement

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