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JCOM Abstract

J Clin Outcomes Manage 
2009 Nov;16(11):503-506
Are blind patients at a disadvantage with current colorectal screening strategies? A pilot survey
Patel P, Cardozo L, Tobi M

Abstract Objective: To determine if blind patients have the same rates of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening as the average population and to compare their screening rates with those of a control group that may be at higher risk for CRC. Methods: We identified a patient cohort of blind patients (group 1) from a larger study on CRC screening among patients at a Veterans Administration Medical Center. An age-matched nonblind control cohort (group 2) was chosen from patients regularly monitored for Barrett’s esophagus. A retrospective records review was conducted to document screening rates, modalities used, symptomatology, and the prevalence of CRC over a 9-year period (1996–2005). Results: Of 136 blind patients, 78 (57%) had some form of screening, and 58 had no documentation of CRC screening. In the nonblind group, the screening rate was 90%. There were no significant differences in age, type of screening test completed, CRC incidence (2.9% vs. 1.8%), or symptoms (17% vs. 20%) between the 2 groups. Conclusions: Blind patients appear to be at no disadvantage with CRC screening, achieving screening rates similar to historically reported U.S. norms. The ability to obtain higher screening rates in patients at potentially greater risk for CRC (group 2) suggests that better CRC screening rates are possible in all patients.

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