Physicians' Reminders Promote Annual Fecal Occult Bloodtesting Compliance
Shlomo Vinker, Vardina Shumla, Eliezer Kitai
Family Medicine Dept., Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University
Screening for the early detection of colorectal cancer using the fecal occult blood test has been shown to be effective in reducing mortality. In Israel family physicians recommend that their patients, aged 50-75, have the test performed annually. But compliance with testing in the general population has been poor.
We therefore studied this issue in 3 primary care facilities, in 384 patients, average age 62.76.9 years; 81 (21.1%) performed the fecal occult blood test. Performance rates were significantly lower (13.9%) in those aged 50-59 (p = 0.0003), as compared wh those aged 60-69 and 70-75 (24.3% and 24.7%, respectively). Compliance rates of the patients of different physicians varied as well.
Recommendation of family physicians led to overall compliance of 21.1%. Additional efforts are needed to increase compliance in order to decrease colorectal cancer morbidity and mortality in Israel.