Background: Patients with extensive ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease of the colon have an increased risk of colon cancer and require colonoscopic surveillance. This study explores factors that affect adherence to surveillance colonoscopy.
Methods: Three hundred and seventy-eight patients with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease of the colon for at least 7 years and at least one-third of the colon involved participated in this cross-sectional questionnaire study performed at 3 tertiary referral inflammatory bowel disease clinics.
Results: Two hundred and eight patients were female and 189 had ulcerative colitis. The mean age was 49.9 years and mean disease duration 22.9 years. The total number of surveillance colonoscopies performed was 1529, and the mean number per patient was 4.01. The mean interval between surveillance colonoscopies was 2.71 years; 282 patients had a mean interval of <3 years. Self-reported adherence was consistently higher than chart-documented adherence. Significant categories of reasons for nonadherence were logistics (P = 0.012), health perceptions (P = 0.0001); stress regarding procedure, job, or personal life (P = 0.0002); and procedure problems (P = 0.001). The most frequently cited most important reason was difficulty with the bowel preparation (18 patients; 4.8%). Of the 26 patients with inflammatory bowel disease–related dysplasia, 3 had cancer, 4 high-grade dysplasia, 15 low-grade dysplasia, and 4 indefinite dysplasia. Detection of dysplasia was not related to adherence or to lack of adherence.
Conclusions: In this study, 25.5% of our patients underwent surveillance colonoscopies at >3-year intervals on average. Significant categories of reasons for nonadherence included logistics, health perceptions, stress, and procedure problems.