Patients who watch an online instructional video are more likely to keep their appointments and arrive prepared for a scheduled colonoscopy than those who do not, according to a study by gastroenterologists at the University of Chicago Medicine.
The study, presented at the 2012 annual Digestive Diseases Week meeting in San Diego, CA, found that among patients age 50 to 65 – the primary target for colon cancer screening – those who watched the video were 40 percent less likely to cancel an appointment. That suggests many more cancers could be prevented or detected and treated early if more thorough instruction were given.
“Although early detection of colon cancer can save lives, only about half of those who could benefit take advantage of this screening test,” said Archita P. Desai, MD, fellow in the section of gastroenterology at the University of Chicago Medicine. “Use of this video-preparation approach could increase the number of people who complete the process. Thanks to such screening, the death rate from colorectal cancer has been dropping for more than 20 years, but there is still plenty of room for improvement.”