Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Many patients not receiving follow-up tests after positive screening for colon cancer

01.06.2006


A UCLA/Veteran’s Affairs study showed that more than 40 percent of patients who initially had received a positive result on a fecal occult blood test (FOBT) -- an initial screening tool for colon cancer -- did not receive appropriate diagnostic follow-up tests such as a colonoscopy or barium enema in 2002. According to the authors, the study may even underestimate this problem in the United States, since previous studies have shown the VA’s level of preventive care and follow-up traditionally has been higher than at most other health care settings.



Published in May in the journal Diseases of the Colon & Rectum, the UCLA/VA study is one of the largest reviews of colorectal screening and follow-up patient data to date. The study used data from the VA, the nation’s largest integrated health care system. The study was performed as a prelude to a national VA effort, now underway, to improve colorectal cancer screening and suggested the need for better medical follow-through for patients with potential colon cancer.

Study authors took advantage of the VA’s ongoing quality improvement program to analyze 39,870 patient records. Overall, 61 percent of eligible VA patients had been screened for colorectal cancer, a rate significantly higher than the national average. Of the screened population, 313 patients had an abnormal FOBT result. Only 59 percent, or 185 patients, of this group received follow-up diagnostic tests such as a colonoscopy or a barium enema. Forty-one percent, or 128 patients, received no follow-up at all in the six months following the FOBT.


"As a nation, we are getting better in providing colorectal cancer screening, but we need to do a much better job in following-up with diagnostic tests for those patients who have abnormal screening results," said Dr. David A. Etzioni, principal investigator and a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar in the Division of General Surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

The authors believe that the study has implications for how health care systems monitor their own quality. "Any healthcare system that provides cancer screening programs needs to track each step in the screening process," Etzioni said. "Many patients were not offered any kind of total colon examination after having a positive screening for colon cancer. Traditionally, quality-of-care assessments just look at initial screening rates for colon cancer, but this study reveals that efforts should focus on the entire diagnostic process to help ensure that patients don’t slip through cracks in the system."

In the study, researchers identified several possible factors why patients didn’t receive follow-up tests. Fifteen percent of the patients who did not receive follow-up did not have a primary care visit in the six months after the positive FOBT screening. The remaining patients in this group saw a primary care physician but were not referred for a follow-up colonoscopy. For those who did receive follow-up tests, there was a long period between having a positive FOBT to receiving a colonoscopy (250 days) or barium enema (120 days).

"These findings have helped the VA identify key issues to spur more timely follow-up testing, and other systems around the country might do the same" Etzioni said.

Potential solutions include educating patients to advocate for screening and follow-up, and putting electronic systems in place to track follow-up.

Rachel Champeau | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mednet.ucla.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Study relating to materials testing Detecting damages in non-magnetic steel through magnetism
23.07.2018 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

nachricht Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>