Knowledge, attitude and practice of physicians regarding screening of colorectal cancer in qatar: A cross-sectional survey


Internal Medicine

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Advances in Medical Education and Practice


Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the rate of internal medicine residents’ and faculties’ (specialists and consultants) compliance to colorectal cancer screening in Hamad Medical Corporation (Doha, Qatar) and to identify barriers as well as facilitators that will assist in drawing up changes that would enhance physician-related cancer screening. Methods: A cross-sectional web-based survey was distributed among internal medicine physicians at three component hospitals of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC); focusing on knowledge and practice of colorectal cancer screening, its barriers and facilitators. Chi-square and t-test statistics were used to draw conclusions where appropriate. Results: The response rate for the survey was 91% and over 75% of the survey respondents were post-graduate trainees. The majority (90.6%) of the physicians (n=144) mentioned that they would recommend colorectal cancer screening for their asymptomatic patients, though trainees tend to choose the correct modality of screening compared to the consultants, 86.21% vs 40.74%. Only 43.4% of the survey participants always to usually recommend screening to their patients in their clinics while only 29.4% do so for their inpatients. Even though there was no statistically significant difference among the frequency of outpatient colorectal cancer screening among trainees, specialists or consultants (p=0.628), there was a clear increase in the reported referrals as the training years or the years of experience increases (p=0.049 for trainees and p=0.009 for faculty). Unclear pathway was reported as the main obstacle to outpatient cancer screening by 30.2% (n= 48) and 54% (n=87) pointed out that an easy and clear pathway for cancer screening would facilitate the same. Conclusion: While the attitude towards colorectal cancer screening is positive, the actual practice of recommendation is sub-optimal. Further initiatives are required to facilitate awareness and compliance to colorectal cancer screening.

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