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Screening colonoscopy rates are not increased when women are offered a female endoscopist
Date:11/11/2010

OAK BROOK, Ill. November 11, 2010 A new study from researchers in Colorado shows that women offered a female endoscopist were not more likely to undergo a screening colonoscopy than those who were not offered this choice. Past surveys have shown preferences for female endoscopists seem to be common among women. In this study, a patient outreach program failed to support the notion that rates of screening colonoscopy can be increased by offering women the option of a screening colonoscopy performed by a female endoscopist. The study appears in the November issue of GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the monthly peer-reviewed scientific journal of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE).

As of 2005, approximately 50 percent of women aged 50 years and older were up to date with colorectal cancer screening. Since 2000, several surveys eliciting hypothetical preferences have reported that approximately 45 percent of women prefer that their endoscopic screening procedures be performed by female physicians. Another study reported that 61 percent of women would be more willing to undergo a flexible sigmoidoscopy if the endoscopist were a woman. Noting that only a small minority of endoscopists are female, a retrospective study reported that women who preferred a female endoscopist were 15 percent less likely to have been screened than women who did not have this preference. A majority of these authors have concluded that a lack of female endoscopists is an important barrier to screening, and that offering women the choice of a female endoscopist may significantly increase screening rates.

"Despite survey results, this hypothesis has not been evaluated in actual practice. Similarly, the extent to which women request a female endoscopist at the time of scheduling a screening colonoscopy remains unknown," said study lead author Thomas Denberg, MD, vice president, Quality and Safety, Atrius Health. "We conducted a prospective cohort s
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Contact: Anne Brownsey
abrownsey@asge.org
630-570-5635
American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Source:Eurekalert

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