Colorectal cancer screening mode preferences among US veterans

Adam A. Powell, Diana J. Burgess, Sally W. Vernon, Joan M. Griffin, Joseph P. Grill, Siamak Noorbaloochi, Melissa R. Partin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess colorectal cancer (CRC) screening mode preferences and correlates of these preferences among US veterans at average risk for CRC. Method: A cross-sectional survey of a nationally representative sample of VA patients was conducted between January 2005 and December 2006. We report preference distributions for screening modes among 2068 average-risk veterans and across patient subgroups based on personal, behavioral, and environmental factors. Independent predictors of preferences are identified through hierarchical logistic regression models. Results: Colonoscopy (37%) was the most preferred mode followed by fecal occult blood test (FOBT) (29%). The strongest predictors of preferences were previous screening experience, provider recommendation, and use of non-VA healthcare services. Participants in higher socioeconomic groups were more likely to choose colonoscopy and less likely to indicate no preference. Conclusion: Screening programs that offer only one mode fail to accommodate the preferences of a substantial proportion of patients. Within the VA, adding screening colonoscopy to programs currently offering only FOBT is likely to increase preferences for colonoscopy, as patients incorporate provider recommendations for and personal experience with colonoscopy into their preferences. This is likely to disproportionately benefit lower socioeconomic groups who do not currently have access to non-VA colonoscopy services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-448
Number of pages7
JournalPreventive medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2009


  • Colonoscopy
  • Colorectal cancer screening
  • Fecal occult blood testing
  • Patient preferences


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