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Study finds patients overestimate cancer screening history
Date:4/18/2008

rcent in the past year, 25 percent in the past two to five years, and 13 percent more than five years ago.

Fifty-six percent of the women over 50 (n=16) reported ever having a fecal occult blood test (FOBT) in their lifetime, 35 percent in the past year, 12 percent in the past two to five years, and 6 percent more than five years ago. Based on documentation in the medical record, 11 percent of the women had a FOBT in their lifetime, 12 percent in the past year, and 0 percent in the past two to five years or more than five years ago.

The researchers acknowledge that the women could have received services without documentation in the medical record or that the women could have mistakenly believed a clinical service included screening when it did not. Nevertheless, they cite previous research that also has found patients tend to over-report their level of screening.

The authors say maintaining efforts to effectively monitor and track participation in cancer screening among African Americans and other groups should be a priority, offering the electronic medical record as one way to ensure more accurate medical documentation. Self-reported screening rates are the foundation for many policy decisions that have a significant influence on the availability of resources for this population, said Dr. Powe. Indeed, over- or underestimation of screening can be even more significant for African Americans, who bear a disproportionate cancer burden.


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Contact: David Sampson
david.sampson@cancer.org
American Cancer Society
Source:Eurekalert

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