“I understood what she meant when she said ‘21st century medicine’”: A qualitative analysis of patient responses for plans for colorectal cancer screening following a recommendation from their physician
Although physician recommendation has been significantly associated with colorectal cancer screening (CRCS), it still does not motivate all patients to get CRCS. Although improved physician recommendation for CRCS has been shown to increase patient CRCS screening, questions remain about what elements of that discussion may lead to screening. The objective of this study is to describe patients' perceptions and interpretations about their physician's recommendation for CRCS during their annual wellness exam. A subset of patients (n=51) participating in a supplement study of a behavioral intervention trial designed to increase CRCS completed a follow-up, open-ended interview two to four weeks after their annual wellness visit. Using qualitative methods, transcripts of these interviews were analyzed. Findings suggest that most patients would follow their physician's recommendation for CRCS despite not engaging in much discussion. Patients may refrain from CRCS discussion because of a commitment to CRCS, awareness of screening guidelines, and trust in physician's honesty and beneficence. Yet many patients left their wellness exams with questions, refraining because of future plans to consult with their physicians, perceived time constraints or a lack of a patient-physician relationship. If patients are leaving their wellness exams with unanswered questions, interventions should prepare physicians for patient reticence, teaching physicians how to assure patients that CRCS is a primary care activity where all questions and concerns, including cost and scheduling, may be resolved.
Medina, Gilda G, "“I understood what she meant when she said ‘21st century medicine’”: A qualitative analysis of patient responses for plans for colorectal cancer screening following a recommendation from their physician" (2012). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1515600.