Use of faecal immunochemical tests common in patients with suspected colorectal cancer but unrelated to travel distance to secondary care: a population-based study from Swedish primary care

Cecilia Högberg, Olof Cronberg, Hans Thulesius, Mikael Lilja, Stefan Jansson, Ulf Gunnarsson

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskriftPeer review

Sammanfattning

Background: Evidence is increasing for the use of faecal immunochemical tests (FITs) for occult blood as diagnostic tools when colorectal cancer can be suspected. FITs have been used for this purpose in Swedish primary care since around 2005 despite absence of supporting guidelines. To our knowledge, the extent of this use has not been studied. Objective: To investigate the use of FITs as diagnostic tools, and if the use was related to patient age, sex and travel time from primary care to diagnostic facilities in secondary care. Design: Population-based retrospective study using data from electronic health records. Setting and subjects: Patients ≥18 years that provided FITs in primary care in five Swedish health care regions during 2015. Driving times from their primary care centres to secondary care were calculated. Main outcome measures: The proportion of patients that provided FITs was calculated for each region, different age intervals and grouped driving times. Results: 18,913 patients provided FITs. The proportion of listed patients in the five regions that provided FITs increased with age: 0.86–1.2% for ages <65 years, 3.6–4.1% for ages 65–79 years and 3.8–6.1% for ages ≥80 years. Differences between the regions were small. There was no overall correlation between the proportion of patients that provided FITs and driving time to secondary care. Conclusion: FITs were used extensively in Swedish primary care with a higher use in older age groups. There was no tendency towards a higher use of FITs at primary care centres with longer driving times to secondary care.Key Points Evidence is increasing for the use of faecal immunochemical tests (FITs) as diagnostic tools when colorectal cancer can be suspected. We investigated the use of FITs in Sweden. FITs were used extensively in primary care especially in older age groups. There were small differences in the use of FITs between five studied health care regions. There was no tendency towards a higher use of FITs at primary care centres with longer driving times to diagnostic facilities in secondary care.

Originalspråkengelska
Sidor (från-till)459-465
TidskriftScandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care
Volym40
Nummer4
Tidigt onlinedatum2022
DOI
StatusPublished - 2022

Bibliografisk information

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Hälso- och sjukvårdsorganisation, hälsopolitik och hälsoekonomi

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