Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 330-336

Knowledge, attitude, and practices of primary health care physicians toward colorectal cancer screening

1 Department of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
2 Division of Gastroenterology, King Saud Medical City, King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Mahmoud Mosli
Department of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University Hospital, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjg.SJG_1_17

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Background/Aim: Early diagnosis of chronic illnesses and cancers mainly occurs at primary health care centers (PHCs) by primary health care physicians (PHPs). The incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is rising and this has been attributed to many factors. The increasing incidence of CRC is compounded by nonadherence to screening recommendations. Therefore, evaluating PHPs knowledge, attitudes, and practices of screening for CRC is clinically important. We aimed to evaluate the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of PHPs regarding CRC screening and to identify the factors associated with nonadherence of PHPs to screening recommendations. Materials and Methods: PHPs working at three tertiary care centers and PHCs across the city of Jeddah were randomly recruited. Participants were surveyed using a comprehensive questionnaire that recorded data on demographics, qualifications, and knowledge of various modalities and guidelines related to CRC screening. Perspectives about effectiveness of, or adherence to, factors that influence physicians' perspectives or recommendations for CRC screening were also assessed. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify physician characteristics associated with PHPs perspectives and nonadherence to CRC screening. Results: A total of 127 PHPs were recruited. The average age of participants was 34 (±8.4) years, 86.6% were native Saudi's and 56.7% were females. The majority of surveys (66.9%) were completed at 24 PHCs and the remaining at hospital-based family medicine clinics. Most of the PHPs (55%) had a bachelor's degree and 31.5% were board-certified or carried a PhD in family medicine; 95% of participants believed that CRC screening in general was effective, but as much as 55% reported that they did not practice screening. The male physicians [odds ratio (OR) = 0.44, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.19–0.99, P = 0.048)] and PHPs with only a bachelor degree or less (OR = 0.72, 95% CI = 0.55–0.93, P = 0.011) were less likely to recommend screening for CRC. Conclusions: A considerable proportion of PHPs do not adhere to CRC screening recommendations despite a wide belief that screening is effective. Male PHPs with lower qualifications appear to be less likely to recommend screening.

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