A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology found that when it comes to colon cancer screening, patient education may be even more important than physicians thought.
Inadequate bowel preparation is a common problem when it comes to colonoscopy. A lack of prep can lead to difficulties during the procedure and inaccurate results, so a well-prepped colon is essential to successful screening.
This problem creates a need to increase the overall quality of bowel preparation in patients who decide to undergo a colonoscopy. Prior research suggested that an educational booklet has been shown to improve preparation quality, so the researchers of this most recent study sought to determine just how effective the booklet could be.
The study involved 85 patients at a tertiary care medical center scheduled for an inpatient colonscopy. The subjects were randomly assigned to groups that were or were not given booklets on how to adequately prepare for the procedure.
Results showed that 62% of patients who received the booklet had adequate bowel preparation, compared with only 14% who did not receive the booklet. This was an important conclusion, as it demonstrates the effectiveness of providing information in order to improve the patient experience.
The study reflects an overarching need for better communication and information share between doctors and patients. Patient education is a critical goal in getting people screened for colon cancer. Download our Doctor Discussion Guide to get these conversations started with your doctor.