Perceived Deterrence Towards Colonoscopy for Colorectal Cancer Screening among Northern Malaysia Population: A Qualitative Study

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Clinical Research Center, Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah, Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia.

2 Kedah State Health Department, Alor etar, Kedah, Malaysia.

3 3Medical Department, Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah, Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia.


Background: Patients with positive immunochemical faecal occult blood test results were found to have poor compliance for a subsequent colonoscopy procedure. This study was conducted to explore patients’ perceived deterrence for colonoscopy following a positive stool test. Methods: Using qualitative study method, a phone interview was conducted with 16 patients to elicit their views on the reasons for failure to attend the colonoscopy procedure following a positive stool test. The interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and translated before proceeded with the data analysis. Content analysis was made on the translated interview, followed by systematic classification of data by major themes. Results: Reasons for nonattendance were categorized under five main themes; unnecessary test, fear of the procedure, logistic obstacles (subthemes; time constraint, transportation problem), social influences, and having other health priority. Lacking in information about the procedure during the referral process was identified to cause misperception and unnecessary worry towards colonoscopy. Fear of the procedure was commonly cited by female respondents while logistic issues pertaining to time constraint were raised by working respondents. Conclusions: More effective communication between patients and health care providers are warranted to avoid misconception regarding colonoscopy procedure. Support from primary care doctors, customer-friendly appointment system, use of educational aids and better involvement from family members were among the strategies to increase colonoscopy compliance.


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