Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Urban Vitality

Getting adequate information across to colorectal cancer screening subjects can be difficult

Abstract: OBJECTIVES: Participation in screening should be the outcome of an informed decision. We evaluated whether invitees in the first Dutch colorectal cancer (CRC) screening programme were adequately informed after having received a detailed information leaflet.


A total of 20,623 subjects aged 50 –75 years were invited to the fecal occult blood test
(FOBT) screening programme. All received a detailed information leaflet by mail between May 2006 and January 2007. After two weeks, a reminder letter was sent to all invitees, accompanied by a survey on CRC and screening.


The survey was completed by 9594 invitees (47%). Almost all responders (99%) found the leaflet clear and readable. Almost all indicated that CRC can be treated better if found early (99%). Only 20% of the responders answered all knowledge-related answers correctly. Almost half of the responders (47%) believed that a negative FOBT excludes the presence of CRC. Older age and having a positive family member for CRC were correctly identified as risk factors by 80%.


This study demonstrates that although an information leaflet was reported as being clear and readable, the information provided in it was not always understood well. This suggests that other educational options should be investigated in order to improve general knowledge of CRC in screening invitees.

Referentie van Rijn,A.F., van Rossum,L.G., Deutekom, M., Laheij,R.J., Bossuyt,P.M., Fockens,P., Dekker,E., and Jansen,J.B. (2008): Getting adequate information across to colorectal cancer screening subjects can be difficult. J.Med.Screen., 15:149-152.
Gepubliceerd door  Kenniscentrum Bewegen, Sport en Voeding 25 augustus 2008