Table 3

Summary of results identifying unique challenges to colorectal cancer screening in comparison to breast and cervical screening

Screening behaviour
Screening participants
(screened for breast, cervical and CRC)
CRC-specific non-participants
(screened for breast and cervical, but not CRC)
(not screened for breast, cervical or CRC)
Motivational challenges to colorectal screening
 Treatment beliefsLess negative view of treatment than in other two groupsCRC treatment perceived as more severe than breast or cervicalTreatment most threatening aspect of cancer
 Beliefs about the value of screeningValued screeningSome questioned value of CRC screening and self-sampling reduced credibilityQuestioned value as intolerable cancer treatment would still be necessary
 Disgust andmbarrassmentAcknowledged but overcomeFrequently discussed as barriers, avoided talking about CRC screening with othersFrequently discussed as barriers
 Symptom beliefsAcknowledged screening is for asymptomatic as more treatable at earlier stage of diagnosisScreening to check existing symptoms, CRC symptoms more visible and detectable reducing need for CRC screeningScreening to check existing symptoms, therefore unnecessary in the absence of symptoms
 Comorbidities and previous colorectal investigationsComorbidities mentioned less frequentlyFelt less need for CRC screening because of previous colorectal investigationsPsychological and physical comorbidities made less willing to screen
Action-on-motivation challenges to colorectal screening
 Lack of health professional involvementAcknowledged CRC self-sampling was awkward, but overcomeWorried about completing FOBt incorrectly, CRC burdensome and complicated, disengagement from process possible for breast and cervical but not CRCWorried about completing FOBt incorrectly, CRC burdensome and complicated
 Colorectal screening requires planningDetailed planningRarely described making plans to screenRarely described making plans to screen
 ComorbiditiesComorbidities mentioned less frequentlyComorbidity impediments to CRC self-completionComorbidity impediments to CRC self-completion and to a lesser extent breast and cervical screening
Prompts to colorectal screening
 Postponing and forgettingDescribed using prompts to avoid forgettingLack of appointment time or deadline made CRC more easily delayed or forgottenLack of appointment time or deadline made CRC more easily delayed or forgotten
  • CRC, colorectal cancer; FOBt, faecal occult blood test.