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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Karthik MaruthaChalam,
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Objectives The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of Direct access colonoscopy (DAC) vs outpatient appointments for two-week rule colorectal cancer referrals and to evaluate the satisfaction of patients referred through these routes. Patients and methods Data were collected prospectively from January 2003 to December 2003 on patients Who were referred for DAC or outpatient appointments at the discretion of the referring General practitioner via the Lower GI two-week rule pathway. A postal questionnaire was used to survey patient satisfaction. Results Six hundred and thirty-nine patients were referred via the two-week rule pathway; 188 patients underwent colonoscopy at their initial hospital visit and 19 (10.1%) colorectal cancers were diagnosed; 442 patients had an outpatient appointment and 32 (7.2%) colorectal cancers were identified. There were 7 (1%) inappropriate referrals and 2 patients refused investigations. All outcome parameters measured were reduced for patients referred directly for colonoscopy including time to definitive investigations (Median 9 vs 52 days P < 0.0001), time to histological diagnosis (Median 14 vs 42 days P < 0.0001) and time to treatment (Median 55 vs 75 days P < 0.0483). One hundred and seventy patients were surveyed by the postal questionnaire of whom 127 (75%) responded. Ninety-eight percent of patients were satisfied with the service provided. Four (6.6%) of 60 patients who had undergone direct access colonoscopy expressed a desire to be seen at the outpatient department initially. Conclusions Direct access colonoscopy results in significantly reduced times to histological diagnosis and definitive treatment in patients with colorectal cancer. Patients can be directly admitted for investigations bypassing the outpatient clinic without affecting patient satisfaction.
Author(s): Maruthachalam K, Stoker E, Chaudhri S, Noblett S, Horgan AF
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Colorectal Disease
ISSN (print): 1462-8910
ISSN (electronic): 1463-1318
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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