In faecal occult blood test (FOBT) screening for colorectal cancer, face-to-face consultation for pre-colonoscopy assessment has significant resource implications. For this reason, providing the option of telephone interview for this purpose was evaluated. In the second year of the third round of screening in Tayside, all FOBT-positive individuals were offered pre-colonoscopy assessment by means of telephone interview. This was evaluated by comparing the results with those obtained in the first year, when only face-to-face consultation was available. Of 388 individuals offered the choice of telephone interview or face-to-face consultation, 330 (85.1%) chose telephone interview, and all but two of the remainder underwent face-to-face consultation. When compared with the preceding year, there was a highly significant reduction in the numbers not attending for colonoscopy (0.8% versus 14.9%, P < 0.0001) Telephone interview is an acceptable form of pre-colonoscopy assessment for the majority of FOBT-positive participants in a colorectal screening programme, and the policy of offering this approach is associated with a marked reduction in the colonoscopy default rate.
- Demonstration pilot
- United Kingdom