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Rapid review of factors associated with flexible sigmoidoscopy screening use

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Colin Rees



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2019 The Authors Flexible sigmoidoscopy (FS) screening has been shown to reduce colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence and mortality among screened adults. The aim of this review was to identify patient-related factors associated with the screening test's use. We searched PubMed for studies that examined the association between FS screening use and one or more factors. To determine the eligibility of studies, we first reviewed titles, then abstracts, and finally the full paper. We started with a narrow search, which we expanded successively (by adding ‘OR’ terms) until the number of new publications eligible after abstract review was <1% of the total number of publications. We then abstracted factors from eligible papers and reported the number of times each was found to be positively or negatively associated with FS screening use. We identified 42 papers, most of which reported studies conducted in the United States of America (n = 21, 50%) and the United Kingdom (n = 13, 31%). Across studies, a wide range of factors were examined (n = 123), almost half of which were found to be associated with FS screening use at least once (n = 60). Sociodemographic and health and lifestyle factors that were frequently positively associated with FS screening use included: male gender, higher socioeconomic status and a family history of CRC. Frequently positively associated psychosocial factors included low perceived barriers and high perceived benefits. Findings suggest that future research should focus on developing a theoretical framework of cancer screening behaviour to allow a greater level of consistency and specificity in measuring key constructs.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kerrison RS, von Wagner C, Green T, Gibbins M, Macleod U, Hughes M, Rees CJ, Duffy S, McGregor LM

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Preventive Medicine

Year: 2019

Volume: 120

Pages: 8-18

Print publication date: 01/03/2019

Online publication date: 28/10/2018

Acceptance date: 24/12/2018

ISSN (print): 0091-7435

ISSN (electronic): 1096-0260

Publisher: Academic Press Inc.


DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2018.12.018