Factors associated with participation in colorectal cancer screening

Research theme(s): 
Research workstream(s): 
Related staff: 
Mr Nicholas Clarke (former staff)
Prof Linda Sharp (former staff)
Collaborators & co-investigators: 
Dr Patricia Kearney, University College Cork
Prof Deirdre McNamara, Adelaide & Meath Hospital, Dublin
Prof Pamela Gallagher, Dublin City University
Dr Noel Richardson, Institute of Technology Carlow
Funding source: 
Irish Cancer Society

In Ireland approximately 2,000 people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer each year, with 900 dying from it annually. Colorectal cancer can be prevented through screening and treated effectively, or cured, if caught early. Internationally evidence suggests screening uptake is often low, with males participating less often, despite higher incidence and mortality. This research aims to understand the motivators and barriers to participating in screening by faecal immunochemical testing (FIT), particularly among hard to reach groups such as men. 

We are using a mixed methods approach, combining quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews to generate in-depth and theoretical explanations for phenomena observed at an aggregate statistical level, thus enhancing the potential value of the research. 

This research will improve understanding of the attitudes, beliefs, awareness and behaviours that influence participation, and more importantly non-participation, in FIT based screening. This in turn will feed into the development of strategies to improve screening participation, ensuring that the screening offered to the population is a success, and that fewer people in Ireland are diagnosed with, and die from colorectal cancer.

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