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National Survey of Primary Care Physicians' Recommendations & Practice for Breast, Cervical, Colorectal, & Lung Cancer Screening

This NCI-led survey (the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are co-sponsors) was fielded between September 2006 and May 2007. It obtained current, national data on primary care physicians' (PCPs') knowledge, attitudes, recommendations, and practices related to screening for breast, cervical, colorectal, and lung cancer.

There have been substantial changes in technologies and guidelines for breast, cervical, colorectal, and lung cancer screening in recent years. Breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening are well supported by evidence and guidelines, while lung cancer screening is controversial due to the incomplete evidence on its efficacy, although it has diffused at least to some extent into community practice and there is need for data to better understand PCPs' knowledge and use of lung cancer screening tests. The survey focuses on PCPs' adoption of new or rapidly-evolving screening technologies and new screening guidelines, as well as their use of informed decision-making in discussing cancer screening with their patients, and practice-based systems (i.e., electronic medical records, reminders, practice profiles, financial incentives) that support and/or otherwise influence screening activities. Survey objectives are to characterize PCPs' knowledge, attitudes, recommendations, and practices toward use of established and emerging technologies for breast, cervical, colorectal, and lung cancer screening. A secondary aim is to assess differences in knowledge, attitudes, and practices according to characteristics of the PCP, practice setting, and external environment, for each screening type.

A split-sample design was used, in which one-half of the sample received a questionnaire covering breast and cervical cancer screening, and the other half a questionnaire focusing on colorectal and lung cancer screening. PCP specialty types included family and general practitioners, general internists, and obstetrician/gynecologists. The mode of administration was mail with telephone follow-up. NCI and CDC staff will lead the analysis of the data.

Investigators who adopt or adapt any items from the questionnaires are asked to cite the National Cancer Institute, National Survey of Primary Care Physicians' Recommendations and Practice for Breast, Cervical, Colorectal, and Lung Cancer Screening, as the source.

Publications are available. Additional manuscripts are in development and are forthcoming.

Last Modified: 11 Apr 2014