Perceived Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening among Eligible Adults in Qatar and the Associated Factors: A Cross-Sectional Study

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Medical Education, Community Medicine Residency Program, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar.

2 Department of Preventive Screening Program, Primary Health Care Corporation, Doha, Qatar.

3 University of Calgary in Qatar, Doha, Qatar.

4 Department of Clinical Affairs, Primary Health Care Corporation, Doha, Qatar.

5 Department of Family and Community Medicine, Primary Health Care Corporation, Doha, Qatar.


Background: In Qatar, colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most common cancer and is projected to be more than triple by 2035. Therefore, CRC periodic screening is vitally important because early detection will improve the success of treatment. In 2016, Qatar established a population-based screening program for CRC targetting average-risk adults. This study aimed to determine the perceived barriers to undergo CRC screening in eligible adults in Qatar and the associated factors. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of individuals aged 50-74 years who have been never screened, across six primary health centers between September 2018 and January 2019. A non-probability sampling method was used to recruit participants. Participants were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Descriptive and analytic statistics were applied. Results: A total of 188 individuals participated in the study. The mean age of the participants was 58.3 (SD ±6.4) years. Most participants were females (54.5%) and non-Qatari Arabs (54.3%). The top five reported barriers to CRC screening were: not at risk due to absence of symptoms (60.6%), not at risk due to absence of family history (55.1%), not at risk due to adopting a healthy lifestyle (52.7%), lack of time (41%), and lack of reminders by healthcare workers (39.4%). Bivariate analyses identified statistically significant associations between certain barriers and female gender, nationality, and educational level (primary school and below). Conclusion: The present study identified several barriers to undergoing CRC screening among eligible adults in Qatar. Such results provide a basis for tailoring of future educational campaigns that are relevant, specific, and appealing to such a cohort.


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