Document Type: Research Articles
Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences. Sultan Qaboos University, P O Box 35. Postal Code 123. Muscat, Sultanate of Oman.
College of Medicine & Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman.
Research Section, Medical Simulation and Skills Development Centre, Oman Medical Specialty Board, Muscat, Oman.
Objective: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in Oman after breast and thyroid. Awareness regarding the availability of CRC screening services could play a major role in promoting early detection and reducing mortality rates. The aim of this study was to identify public knowledge and attitudes toward CRC screening. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among 410 members of the public attending the Sultan Qaboos University Hospital in Muscat, Oman. A questionnaire was developed to assess the participants’ general knowledge, barriers and factors affecting attitudes, beliefs and behaviors regarding CRC screening. Results: A total of 410 members of the public participated from 500 invited (response rate: 82.0%). Most of the participants had not heard of CRC screening (76.3%) and were unaware of different screening methods (92.9%). The majority (93.9%) had not undergone CRC screening in Oman; however, 70.6% reported that they would be willing to do so in the future, particularly if recommended by doctors (52.7%). Barriers to screening included feeling embarrassed by the idea of a colonoscopy (73.9%), not having any symptoms of CRC (65.1%) and a fear of being diagnosed with CRC (55.6%). A bivariate analysis indicated that males demonstrated significantly more awareness of CRC screening compared to females (64.9% versus 35.1%; p = 0.004) and younger participants (