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Patient attitudes to colonoscopy and the importance of endoscopist interaction

This month's issue of the Scandanavian Journal of Gastroenterology evaluates patient attitudes to colonoscopy and the importance of endoscopist interaction and the endoscopy environment to satisfaction and value.

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Understanding patients' attitudes to their medical experience is essential for identifying value in the patient pathway, optimizing care and use of resources.

Dr Jude McEntire from the United Kingdom determined patients' preferences and expectations for day case colonoscopy, a common gastrointestinal procedure for which there is limited such data.

The team invited patients attending for elective colonoscopy to complete a composite, validated dedicated endoscopy questionnaire, with Likert-scale questions and a 15-point preference scale of domains of endoscopy care that were considered most important to least important as contributing to a satisfactory experience.

The team reported that 216 out of 224 patients returned questionnaires.

Moderate to severe anxiety was recorded in 56% of patients, commonly with respect to anticipation of pain or the results of the procedure.

Moderate to severe anxiety was recorded in 56% of patients
Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology

The doctors found that the median values for ranked preference scores consistent with greatest importance for satisfaction were technical skill of the endoscopist, discomfort during the procedure, and manner of the endoscopist.

Factors considered of relatively low importance included the single-sex environment, noise levels, and explanation of delay.

The research team noted that only 14% of patients responded that they would be prepared to delay an appointment for a single-sex environment.

Dr McEntire's team concluded, "Patients undergoing colonoscopy highly prioritize aspects of care relating to the interaction with the endoscopist and the procedure itself."

"Environment factors are considered to be less important."

"These findings may assist in service redesign around patient-identified value within the patient pathway."

Scand J Gastroenterol 2013: (48)3: 366-373
07 March 2013

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