The yield of colonoscopy for neoplasia among patients aged under 50 years with non-specific gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms is very low.
A negative colonoscopy may benefit these patients by decreasing anxiety and thereby reducing subsequent health resource utilization.
|Sustained improvement in anxiety scores at 1, 2 and 6 months|
|Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology|
Drs Tuba Esfandyari and Gavin Harewood from Minnesota, USA characterized the effect of a negative colonoscopy.
The team enrolled 59 consecutive patients, aged 18 to 49 years.
The patients were under 50 years of age with non-specific gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation.
The researchers assessed reassurance value, and decreasing health resource utilization.
The patients underwent their first colonoscopy for evaluation of non-specific gastrointestinal symptoms.
Health-related anxiety was evaluated before and immediately after disclosure of the negative result of colonoscopy.
The researchers used a validated questionnaire at 1-, 2- and 6-month intervals postcolonoscopy by telephone follow-up.
Symptom scores and health resource utilization were assessed prior to colonoscopy and at 2 and 6 months postcolonoscopy.
Mean health anxiety score declined immediately after colonoscopy from 21 to 18.
The team observed sustained improvement in anxiety scores at 1, 2 and 6 months.
The team found symptom scores also decreased at 6 months for abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation.
The research team found a significant decrease in all four measures of health resource utilization at 6 months postcolonoscopy.
Dr Esfandyari and colleague concluded, "Despite minimal diagnostic yield, colonoscopy for non-specific gastrointestinal symptoms in patients under 50 years of age is associated with a decline in health-related anxiety and symptom scores."
"These effects appear to translate into reductions in health resource utilization."