Prev Med Rep. 2020 Oct 26;20:101235. doi: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2020.101235. eCollection 2020 Dec.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer and the second most common cause of cancer death worldwide. CRC can be completely cured if detected at an early stage with screening. However, many barriers to screening have been reported. This study aimed to identify the potential barriers to CRC screening among the Saudi population aged ≥45 years. A cross-sectional study of randomly selected adults (aged ≥45 years) attending primary care clinics at KKUH in Saudi Arabia was conducted. A
self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data. A total of 448 participants were included. In general, the most commonly reported barrier to CRC screening was a lack of physician recommendation (77.1%). Moreover, fear of painful colonoscopy procedures and a lack of knowledge regarding the availability of the fecal occult blood test (FOBT) were reported by 51.6% and 57.8% of patients, respectively. Significant gender differences were observed, with females reporting more barriers to CRC screening than males (general barriers [p < 0.001] and colonoscopy-specific barriers [p = 0.003]). Participants who had not undergone any previous CRC screening reported significantly more barriers compared to those who had undergone a previous CRC screening (general barriers [p = 0.015], colonoscopy-specific barriers [p = 0.006], and FOBT specific barriers [p = 0.024]). Because a lack of physician recommendation was the most commonly reported general barrier, we recommend that physicians emphasize the need for CRC screening, particularly to high-risk patients. Extensive campaigns and programs must be launched to raise awareness about the importance of screening for CRC. Additionally, gender-specific strategies need to be formulated to promote CRC screening in females.