Uptake to bowel cancer screening in Wales is poor. Previous studies suggest that participant, organisation and test related factors seem to influence screening uptake. Research into blood and stool biomarkers of bowel cancer, markers of risk and technological advances in bowel examination has developed rapidly and mainly focused on how well they detect cancer. These new technologies however require investigation of their acceptability, likelihood of increasing screening uptake and likelihood of influencing prevention related behaviour.
The main question is: How are technological advances in bowel cancer screening and risk stratification likely to influence engagement with screening?
The project aims to assess
- whether there are individual characteristics (e.g. prior symptom awareness, help seeking attitudes/behaviour, family history, screening participation) that may be related to preferences for alternative screening,
- the acceptability of new technology to those currently eligible for screening,
- whether risk information (e.g. polyp identification, genetic risk information, lifestyle behaviours) might influence people’s willingness to participate in screening and/or modify their behaviour and why, and
- attitudes towards genetic sampling for bowel cancer risk stratification.
This work will be based upon responders, of screening age, to bowel questionnaires which have already been sent to a number of people taking part in a wider study about health (Healthwise Wales). With their permission, participants can be contacted for further data collection and their answers linked to other information such as their screening history and health records. Both questionnaire data and qualitative data from interviews will be analysed to address these aims.