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Colonoscopy fears overcome when patients support patients
Date:1/7/2008

peer coaches, each of whom had previously had a colonoscopy. During the program, the coaches learned about communication strategies, the biology of colorectal cancer, screening modalities and potential barriers to colonoscopy. The coaches then called study patients within two weeks of their appointment to offer education and encouragement by following a scripted guide. Patients in the brochure group received pamphlets from the American Cancer Society and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Study patients were mostly female and black, and compared with other patient groups, patients randomized to the peer coach support group were more likely to be Medicaid insured and have low primary care visit adherence. Among those who received the telephone peer counseling, nearly 70 percent kept their colonoscopy appointment. Turner and colleagues estimated that without peer support, only 52 percent of patients with similar characteristics would have attended their appointment. Only 58 percent of those who received the brochure attended their appointment, while only 48 percent patients who refused any study support attended.

During follow-up phone calls, 80 percent of patients in the peer coach arm of the study rated their coaching as very helpful, and most appreciated hearing about another patients experience and commented on their need for more information than was provided by their physician.

Those findings mirror previous Penn research, published in the August 2007 issue of the Journal of Family Practice, which identified communications shortfalls among doctors discussing colonoscopy with patients. Although most doctors studied explained the value of screening to patients, few touched on issues concerning insurance coverage for the procedure a barrier for many patients dietary issues before the procedure, or risks of the procedure. Some doctors used colloquial terms that could be regarded as crude Its basically Liquid Plumber for your bowels
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Contact: Holly Auer
holly.auer@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-5659
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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