Barriers to bowel scope (flexible sigmoidoscopy) screening: a comparison of non-responders, active decliners and non-attenders



von Wagner C, Bonello B, Stoffel S, Skrobanski H, Freeman M, Kerrison RS & McGregor LM (2018) Barriers to bowel scope (flexible sigmoidoscopy) screening: a comparison of non-responders, active decliners and non-attenders. BMC Public Health, 18, Art. No.: 1161.

Background Participation in bowel scope screening (BSS) is low (43%), limiting its potential to reduce colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence and mortality. This study aimed to quantify the prevalence of barriers to BSS and examine the extent to which these barriers differed according to non-participant profiles: non-responders to the BSS invitation, active decliners of the invitation, and non-attenders of confirmed appointments. Methods Individuals invited for BSS between March 2013 and December 2015, across 28 General Practices in England, were sent a questionnaire. Questions measured initial interest in BSS, engagement with the information booklet, BSS participation, and, where applicable, reasons for BSS non-attendance. Chi-square tests of independence were performed to examine the relationship between barriers, non-participant groups and socio-demographic variables. Results 1478 (45.8%) questionnaires were returned for analysis: 1230 (83.2%) attended screening, 114 (7.7%) were non-responders to the BSS invitation, 100 (6.8%) were active decliners, and 34 (2.3%) were non-attenders. Non-responders were less likely to have read the whole information booklet than active decliners (x2 (2, N = 157) = 7.00, p = 0.008) and non-attenders (x2 (2, N = 101) = 8.07, p = 0.005). Non-responders also had lower initial interest in having BSS than either active decliners (x2 (2, N = 213) = 6.07, p = 0.014) or non-attenders (x2 (2, N = 146) = 32.93, p 

Bowel scope; Screening; Colorectal cancer; Flexible sigmoidoscopy; Non-attendance

BMC Public Health: Volume 18

FundersCancer Research UK
Publication date31/12/2018
Publication date online05/10/2018
Date accepted by journal25/09/2018

People (1)


Dr Lesley McGregor

Dr Lesley McGregor

Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Psychology