Timeliness of Colonoscopy After Abnormal Fecal Test Results in a Safety Net Practice

Ann Oluloro, Amanda F. Petrik, Ann Turner, Tanya Kapka, Jennifer Rivelli, Patricia A. Carney, Somnath Saha, Gloria D. Coronado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Fecal testing can only reduce colorectal cancer mortality if patients with an abnormal test result receive a follow-up colonoscopy. As part of the Strategies and Opportunities to STOP Colon Cancer in Priority Populations (STOP CRC) project, we examined factors associated with adherence to follow-up colonoscopy among patients with abnormal fecal test results. As part of STOP CRC outreach, Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center staff distributed 1753 fecal immunochemical tests (FIT), of which 677 (39 %) were completed, and 56 had an abnormal result (8 %). Project staff used logistic regression analyses to examine factors associated with colonoscopy referral and completion. Of the 56 patients with abnormal FIT results; 45 (80 %) had evidence of a referral for colonoscopy, 32 (57 %) had evidence of a completed colonoscopy within 18 months, and 14 (25 %) within 60 days of an abnormal fecal test result. In adjusted analysis, Hispanics had lower odds of completing follow-up colonoscopy within 60 days than non-Hispanic whites (adjusted OR 0.20; 95 % CI 0.04, 0.92). Colonoscopy within 60 days trended lower for women than for men (adjusted OR 0.25; 95 % CI 0.06–1.04). Among the 24 patients lacking medical record evidence of a colonoscopy, 19 (79 %) had a documented reason, including clinician did not pursue, patient refused, and colonoscopy not indicated. No reason was found for 21 %. Improvements are needed to increase rates of follow-up colonoscopy completion, especially among female and Hispanic patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)864-870
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Colonoscopy
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Federally qualified health center
  • Gastroenterology referral
  • Hispanic/Latino

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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