NYMC Faculty Publications

Colorectal Cancer Screening Knowledge and Practices Among Practicing Obstetrician-Gynecologists and Resident/Fellows

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Student, Faculty

Journal Title

Women's Health Reports

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Public Health


BACKGROUND: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer death in the US, the third most diagnosed cancer in women, and the second leading cause of cancer death in women. The aims of our study are to (1) investigate knowledge of and adherence to CRC screening guidelines by obstetrician-gynecologists (Ob/Gyns) and (2) assess whether this knowledge/adherence vary by demographic and practice characteristics. METHODS: An anonymous cross-sectional survey was distributed to a convenience sample of 142 practicing Obs/Gyns drawn from National Medical Association section members/conference attendees and hospital Ob/Gyn department members. RESULTS: Most respondents (80.3%) viewed colorectal screening within the scope of Ob/Gyn practice, and 71.8% used the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists guidelines for screening. Most respondents were knowledgeable regarding CRC screening but not in all areas. On average they only identified half of the 10 risk factors listed and only one-quarter correctly identified the age when screening can stop. Resident/Fellows were somewhat more knowledgeable about screening guidelines and risk factors than attendings. More than half of respondents (57.8%) reported always initiating CRC screening for the appropriate age and risk factors. Respondents identified education and awareness (56.3%) and patients' unwillingness to undergo an invasive procedure (75.4%) as barriers to screening. CONCLUSIONS: Knowledge regarding CRC screening was less than optimal and differed by attending/Resident/Fellow status. Greater emphasis should be placed on CRC screening and guidelines training for primary care providers like Ob/Gyns. Some of this could be accomplished through maintenance of certification and continued integration into residency education.