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CRC Screening With Double-Contrast Barium Enema

Objectives: This study examined diagnostic radiologists’ colorectal cancer (CRC) screening activities and beliefs about screening effectiveness and future capacity for screening with double-contrast barium enema (DCBE), and compares radiologists’ opinions about CRC screening with those of primary care physicians.

Results: Seventy-five percent of radiologists said that DCBE is a “very effective” CRC screening procedure, compared with 33 percent of primary care physicians. Although 86 percent of radiologists performed one or more screening DCBE procedures during a typical month, only 27 percent did so 11 or more times. Fifteen percent of radiologists said that their DCBE volume had increased over the past 3 years, and 50 percent expect an increase over the next 3 years. Only 8 percent said that resources in their geographic areas were inadequate to meet the demand for DCBEs. Geographic region and belief in DCBE efficacy were predictors of DCBE volume and referrals.

Conclusions: Most radiologists perform CRC screening with DCBE, but volumes are modest. Because primary care physicians view DCBE less positively than do radiologists, expectations for increased volume of DCBEs may not be realized.

Reference: Klabunde CN, Jones E, Brown ML, Davis WW. Colorectal cancer screening with double-contrast barium enema: a national survey of diagnostic radiologists. Am J Radiol 2002;179:1419-27. [View Abstract]

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Last Modified: 11 Apr 2014