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OBJECTIVE: To investigate patient experience of CT colonography (CTC) and colonoscopy in a national screening programme. METHODS: Retrospective analysis of patient experience postal questionnaires. We included screenees from a fecal occult blood test (FOBt) based screening programme, where CTC was performed when colonoscopy was incomplete or deemed unsuitable. We analyzed questionnaire responses concerning communication of test risks, test-related discomfort and post-test pain, as well as complications. CTC and colonoscopy responses were compared using multilevel logistic regression. RESULTS: Of 67,114 subjects identified, 52,805 (79 %) responded. Understanding of test risks was lower for CTC (1712/1970 = 86.9 %) than colonoscopy (48783/50975 = 95.7 %, p < 0.0001). Overall, a slightly greater proportion of screenees found CTC unexpectedly uncomfortable (506/1970 = 25.7 %) than colonoscopy (10,705/50,975 = 21.0 %, p < 0.0001). CTC was tolerated well as a completion procedure for failed colonoscopy (unexpected discomfort; CTC = 26.3 %: colonoscopy = 57.0 %, p < 0.001). Post-procedural pain was equally common (CTC: 288/1970,14.6 %, colonoscopy: 7544/50,975,14.8 %; p = 0.55). Adverse event rates were similar in both groups (CTC: 20/2947 = 1.2 %; colonoscopy: 683/64,312 = 1.1 %), but generally less serious with CTC. CONCLUSIONS: Even though CTC was reserved for individuals either unsuitable for or unable to complete colonoscopy, we found only small differences in test-related discomfort. CTC was well tolerated as a completion procedure and was extremely safe. CTC can be delivered across a national screening programme with high patient satisfaction. KEY POINTS: • High patient satisfaction at CTC is deliverable across a national screening programme. • Patients who cannot tolerate screening colonoscopy are likely to find CTC acceptable. • CTC is extremely safe; complications are rare and almost never serious. • Patients may require more detailed information regarding the expected discomfort of CTC.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur Radiol

Publication Date





1052 - 1063


CT colonography (CTC), Colon cancer, Computed tomography, Endoscopy, Fecal occult blood test, Aged, Colonography, Computed Tomographic, Colonoscopy, Colorectal Neoplasms, Female, Humans, Male, Mass Screening, Middle Aged, Occult Blood, Patient Satisfaction, Retrospective Studies, Surveys and Questionnaires