Flexible sigmoidoscopy is a complex technical procedure performed in a variety of settings, by examiners with diverse professional backgrounds, training, and experience.
|Recommendations include antibiotic prophylaxis, complications, endoscope insertion and bowel preparation|
Potential variation in technical quality may have a profound impact on the effectiveness of flexible sigmoidoscopy on the early detection and prevention of colorectal cancer.
Dr Levin and colleagues proposed a set of consensus and evidence based recommendations.
The researchers' aim was for the recommendations to assist the development of continuous quality improvement programmes around the delivery of flexible sigmoidoscopy for colorectal cancer screening.
These recommendations address the intervals between flexible sigmoidoscopy examinations, documentation of results, training of endoscopists and the use of non-physicians as flexible sigmoidoscopy endoscopists.
The research team make further recommendations on decision making around referral for colonoscopy, policies for antibiotic prophylaxis, management of anticoagulation and complications.
In addition, the team also considers programmes and makes recommendations on the insertion of the flexible sigmoidoscopy endoscope, bowel preparation and flexible sigmoidoscopy endoscope reprocessing.
Dr Levin comments that, “For each of these areas addressed, continuous quality improvement targets are recommended, and research questions are proposed.”