Training general practitioners in flexible sigmoidoscopy to screen for colorectal cancer

Martin, Jenepher, Crotty, Brendan, Barbaro, Dominic, Higlett, Tracey and Zalcberg, John 2001, Training general practitioners in flexible sigmoidoscopy to screen for colorectal cancer, ANZ journal of surgery, vol. 71, no. 12, pp. 715-719, doi: 10.1046/j.1445-1433.2001.02273.x.

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Title Training general practitioners in flexible sigmoidoscopy to screen for colorectal cancer
Author(s) Martin, Jenepher
Crotty, BrendanORCID iD for Crotty, Brendan
Barbaro, Dominic
Higlett, Tracey
Zalcberg, John
Journal name ANZ journal of surgery
Volume number 71
Issue number 12
Start page 715
End page 719
Publisher Blackwell Science Asia on behalf of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
Place of publication Carlton, Vic.
Publication date 2001-12
ISSN 1445-1433
Keyword(s) colorectal cancer screening
flexible sigmoidoscopy
general practitioners
Summary Background: A screening programme to detect polyps or early carcinoma would significantly reduce the mortality and morbidity of colorectal cancer (CRC). The aims of the present study were to evaluate: (i) the feasibility of training general practitioners in flexible sigmoidoscopy (FS) for CRC screening; (ii) the acceptability of screening by faecal occult blood testing (FOBT) and FS in asymptomatic standard risk Australians aged over 50 years; and (iii) the yield of such screening. Methods: Subjects were recruited by general practitioner (GP) referral, newspaper advertisement or by a direct approach to retirement villages. Participants were mailed a FOBT kit and a prescreening questionnaire. Flexible sigmoidoscopy was performed by a GP supervised by an experienced endoscopist. Subjects then completed a second questionnaire. General practitioners were assessed after 50 unassisted procedures. Results: A total of 264 individuals contacted the study coordinator; 169 were screened. Screening was accepted well by the participants. Fifteen per cent of subjects had polyps and 4% had a positive FOBT. Training in FS was adversely affected by the availability of resources. Three GPs completed 50 unassisted procedures over a 15-month period, but none were able to reliably assess the distal bowel. Conclusions: Although the three trainees and their supervisors did not consider that the GPs were adequately trained after 50 unassisted procedures, training was adversely affected by limited resources within the Victorian public hospital system. Screening by FOBT and FS was considered to be acceptable by the patients undergoing these procedures. Existing facilities are not adequate if GPs are to be trained in FS as part of a national CRC screening program.
Language eng
DOI 10.1046/j.1445-1433.2001.02273.x
Field of Research 110323 Surgery
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Medicine
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