Colorectal cancer screening: Recommendations and guideline adherence by physicians from digestive endoscopy centers in the Lazio region, Italy

Antonio Federici, Sabrina Valle, Paolo Giorgi Rossi, Antonio Grassi, Piero Borgia, Gabriella Guasticchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Introduction: Endoscopy plays a key role in colorectal cancer screening; at the beginning of a mass screening campaign, it is important for public health officials to assess physicians' attitudes and adherence to guidelines regarding colorectal cancer screening. Methods: In April 2004, a questionnaire was sent to all 80 digestive endoscopy centers in the Lazio region, identified by the annual census of the Italian Society of Digestive Endoscopy. The results were compared to those from a similar survey of general practitioners (GPs). Results: Seventy-one centers (89%) returned the questionnaire. Only 3% of physicians said they did not recommend any colorectal cancer screening test. Colonoscopy was perceived as the most effective screening test and was the most recommended (80%). Fecal occult blood test was recommended by 61% of physicians and flexosigmoidoscopy by 11%. Endoscopy centers' physicians recommend screening more than GPs (96.9% vs. 78.3%), while they have a similar level of over-recommending (50.8% vs. 47.2%). Almost 95% of endoscopy physicians properly recommended colonoscopy after positive FOBT. Conclusions: Neither physicians at endoscopy centers nor GPs tend to follow screening guidelines. Screening programmes should not rely on a single medical specialist, but on interdisciplinary management of the disease to strengthen adherence to existing guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-186
Number of pages4
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2006



  • Colorectal cancer
  • Digestive endoscopy
  • Physicians' survey
  • Practice guidelines
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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