Improved communication among patients and primary care physicians increases the chances those due for colorectal cancer screening will follow their doctors' advice and complete the procedure, a University at Buffalo study has found.
The research by principal investigator Thomas Feeley, Ph.D., UB associate professor and a specialist in health communication, also found the more convenient the screening process was, the greater the chance patients would follow through and be tested for colon cancer. Feeley holds faculty appointments in communication, family medicine and nursing at UB.
The study appears in the June issue of Health Communication.
"It became apparent during the study," says Feeley, "that the communication related to cancer screening between health care provider and patient was positively related to an individual going through with the screening recommendation of the physician."
Feeley's research, based on 27 one-hour focus groups with patients, physicians, nurse practitioners and physicians' assistants, found lack of time, patient reluctance and difficulty in scheduling the test itself as reasons people ignored or failed to follow the recommendations made by their primary care physician.