More OB/GYNs, NPs need to be screening for colorectal cancer

November 1, 2009

Although about 95% of obstetricians/gynecologists and nurse practitioners (NPs) screen their female patients for breast and cervical cancer, only bout 75% screen for colorectal cancer (CRC), according to the findings of a recent study.

Although about 95% of obstetricians/gynecologists (ob/gyns) and nurse practitioners (NPs) screen their female patients for breast and cervical cancer, only about 75% screen for colorectal cancer (CRC), according to the findings of a recent study.

Researchers mailed a survey to 1,130 ob/gyns and NPs. Not quite one-third (29.7%) returned the completed survey. Of those, 54% came from ob/gyns, and 46% came from NPs.

The survey revealed that routine CRC screening was about 30% more common among ob/gyns than among NPs (87.2% vs 61.7%, respectively; p<.001). Slightly more than half of both types of providers identified the correct age at which to begin screening, but, overall, ob/gyns scored higher than NPs on questions regarding CRC screening.

Menees SB, Patel DA, Dalton V. Colorectal cancer screening practices among obstetrician/gynecologists and nurse practitioners. J Womens Health. 2009;18(8):1233-1238.