Barriers and Facilitators for Colorectal Cancer Screening in Older People

Although Medicare pays for colorectal cancer screening, not all older people enrolled in Medicare are screened.

Reviewing published medical literature, a task group from the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable found research identifying both barriers to screening and factors that made it easier.

The most frequently mentioned barrier related to healthcare providers was lack of a doctor’s recommendation.  Having a usual source of health care facilitated getting screened.

Other barriers included:

  • Low level of education
  • African American race
  • Hispanic ethnicity
  • female gender

Being married or living with a partner was the most frequent personal faciliator.

Lack of health insurance or dual coverage with Medicare and Medicaid were most frequently reported insurance barriers to getting screened, while Medicare coverage was consistently reported as facilitating it.

Idris Guessous led the study team from the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable Screening Among the 65 Plus Task Group.

SOURCE: Guessous et al., Preventive Medicine, Volume 50, Issues 1-2, pages 3-10, January-February 2010.

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