Screening reduces incidence and mortality from colorectal cancer (CRC). Despite improved access, screening is suboptimal and disparate among minority groups. Quality of patient-provider communication may impact CRC screening.
We examined the relationship between patient-provider communication and socioeconomic variables on the receipt of CRC screening using data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.
All persons age 50 years or older (N = 8488).
Dependent measures were receipt of CRC screening, fecal occult blood testing, and colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy. Independent variables included demographic characteristics, patient language, and patient-provider communication measures from the Consumer Assessment of Health Plan survey.
Patients who felt they had sufficient time with their healthcare provider were more likely to be screened for CRC. Receiving adequate explanation of healthcare needs from provider was a significant predictor of fecal occult blood testing screening. In addition, persons with less than a high school education, the uninsured, or those with low income were associated with reduced likelihood of receiving CRC screening. Asians and Hispanics had a significantly reduced likelihood of receiving screening in comparison with whites; however, after adjusting for language, no significant differences for race or ethnicity were observed.
Adequate time with a healthcare provider and receiving sufficient explanation of the healthcare processes by providers may improve screening rates. Patient-provider communication may be improved by addressing language needs of non-English speaking patients. Overall improved communication may increase CRC screening rates in underserved populations.
From the* Massey Cancer Center and the †Department of Health Administration, School of Allied Health Professions and Massey Cancer Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia.
Reprints: Patricia Carcaise-Edinboro, PhD, Massey Cancer Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Box 980037, Richmond, VA 23298. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.