Factors Associated with Time Intervals for Diagnosis of Colorectal Cancer: A Hospital Based Study in Khon Kaen, Thailand

Document Type: Research Articles

Authors

1 Faculty of Public Health, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand.

2 ASEAN Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Research Group (ACEP), Faculty of Public Health, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand.

3 Cancer Unit, Srinagarind Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand.

4 Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand.

5 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand.

Abstract

Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is among the five-leading cancers in Thailand. Delayed diagnosis is crucial for undermining the prognosis of the patients. This study aims to evaluate the factors associated with the time interval for diagnosis (TID). Methods: A cross-sectional analytical study of 191 CRC patients with histological confirmation who were undergoing treatment in the tertiary hospital in Khon Kaen Province was conducted. The data were obtained by interview and retrieving from medical records. The time interval in each diagnostic process is reported in geometric mean. The geometric mean ratio (GMR) used to interpret the results from multiple linear regressions that analyze the relationship between factors and log-transformed TID. Results: Most patients were males (61.78%) with  mean age of 61.28±10.2 years old. The geometric mean of TID was 263.48 days. Two factors were significantly associated with longer TID: first visit at a tertiary hospital (GMR=7.77 relative to secondary hospital; 95%CI=1.95 to 30.57) and distance to tertiary healthcare. Two factors were significantly associated with shorter TID: officer/ state enterprise (GMR=0.53 relative to agriculture; 95%CI=0.28 to 0.98) and cost of traveling to secondary healthcare. Conclusions: The results showed the occupation, first health care visit, distance and cost were factors associated with TID. Improving the facilities at the secondary healthcare units for diagnosing CRC would be likely to help to reduce the  wasted time in the  healthcare system.

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