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Culturally Tailored Program Increases Colonoscopy Completion

Overall rate of colonoscopy completion was 85 percent in Hispanic population; reasons for cancellation, no-show included cost

MONDAY, Feb. 7, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Implementation of a culturally tailored patient navigation program (CTPNP) is effective for improving the rate of colonoscopy completion (CC) among Hispanic patients, according to a study published online Feb. 7 in Cancer.

Carl S. Winkler, M.D., from the Roger Williams Medical Center in Providence, Rhode Island, and colleagues designed a CTPNP to meet the needs of the Hispanic patient population and their health care system characteristics. Enrolled patients received an introductory letter in Spanish, an initial phone call providing patient education, and follow-up calls to ensure all potential barriers to colonoscopy were addressed. The rates of CC, colonoscopy cancellation (CN), and colonoscopy no show (NS) were recorded and compared with historical rates.

The researchers found that 773 patients were referred to the CTPNP during a 28-month period and 689 were enrolled in the program. The CC rate was 85 percent overall, with no difference seen for men and women. The CN and NS rates were 9 and 6 percent, respectively. Cost and inability to contact the patient after referral were the most common reasons for CN and NS. Forty-three percent of the patients in the CC group underwent polypectomy; 1.3 percent required colectomy. Of the CC group, 90 percent reported that they would not have completed colonoscopy without CTPNP.

“Educating and supporting underserved populations to increase the utilization of cancer screening services can save lives and, in the long term, decrease health costs,” a coauthor said in a statement.

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