Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most frequently diagnosed cancer, and the second leading cause of cancer death among men and women in Canada. Prompted by nationally accepted CRC guidelines, the use of colonoscopy – widely regarded to be the optimal method of CRC screening – has increased dramatically in recent years. However, when evaluating colonoscopy performance and the delivery of high-quality care, it is important to also consider factors relevant to the patients who require colonoscopy services. Understanding the patient perspective on what comprises quality in colonoscopy/endoscopy is essential to tailoring improvements in the standards of practice and quality of care. Accordingly, this study systematically reviewed the literature pertaining to aspects of colonoscopy and endoscopy that may be considered to be important to patients.
Given the limited state of health care resources, increased demand for colorectal cancer (CRC) screening raises concerns about the quality of endoscopy services. Little is known about quality in colonoscopy and endoscopy from the patient perspective.
To systematically review the literature on quality that is relevant to patients who require colonoscopy or endoscopy services.
A systematic PubMed search was performed on articles that were published between January 2000 and February 2011. Keywords included “colonoscopy” or “sigmoidoscopy” or “endoscopy” AND “quality”; “colonoscopy” or “sigmoidoscopy” or “endoscopy” AND “patient satisfaction” or “willingness to return”. The included articles were qualitative and quantitative English language studies regarding aspects of colonoscopy and/or endoscopy services that were evaluated by patients in which data were collected within one year of the colonoscopy/endoscopy procedure.
In total, 28 quantitative studies were identified, of which eight (28.6%) met the inclusion criteria (four cross-sectional, three prospective cohort and one single-blinded controlled study). Aspects of quality included comfort, management of pain and anxiety, endoscopy unit staff manner, skills and specialty, procedure and results discussion with the doctor, physical environment, wait times for the appointment and procedure, and discharge. Qualitative studies eliciting the patient perspective on what constituted quality in colonoscopy/endoscopy were not found.
Factors related to comfort, staff, communication and the service environment were evaluated from the patient perspective using closed-ended questions that were designed by clinicians and researchers. Future research using qualitative methodology to elicit the patient perspective on quality in colonoscopy and/or endoscopy services is needed.