BETHESDA, MdNational Cancer Institute researchers have begun the first national study aimed at identifying barriers to screening for colorectal cancer. Investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Health Care Financing Administration are collaborating in the effort.
Questionnaires are being sent to a representative sample that includes 1,389 primary care physicians, 1,042 medical specialists, and 323 health plan medical directors. Researchers are seeking data on factors that may affect the use of screening and diagnostic follow-up in community practices. The study aims to assess the knowledge of physicians and their attitudes, practice patterns, and health plan guidelines for providing or promoting colorectal cancer screening.