Psychosocial consequences of receiving false-positive colorectal cancer screening results: a qualitative study

Eva Lykke Toft, Sara Enggaard Kaae*, Jessica Malmqvist, John Brodersen

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftArtikelForskningpeer review

Abstract

Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate the psychosocial consequences of receiving false-positive colorectal cancer (CRC) screening results, following a positive immunochemical faecal occult blood test. Design, setting, and subjects: We conducted a qualitative study with four semi-structured focus group interviews with 16 participants aged 50-74, all of whom had received a false-positive result in the national Danish CRC screening programme. We selected, recruited, and grouped participants to ensure maximum variation, and to enable a level of confidence to speak openly about experiences of screening. We subjected interview data, audio-recordings, and transcripts to a strategy of qualitative analysis called systematic text condensation. Results: We identified four main themes which described the psychosocial consequences of false-positive CRC screening results: anxiety; discomfort; changed self-perception and behaviour; and considerations on participation in screening. Each of these themes covered a wide range of experiences which were relevant to the informants and broadly shared by them in many aspects. Conclusions: Receiving false-positive results from CRC screening can lead to negative psychosocial consequences such as changes in self-perception and anxiety: some participants may experience subsequent relief, others not. These negative psychosocial consequences might persist over time. Implications: Negative psychosocial consequences from false-positive CRC screening results may result in a greater use of general practitioner services by healthy people who need reassurance or further tests. More research using condition-specific measures is required to further understand the degree and potential persistence of psychosocial consequences of false-positive results from CRC screening. Key Points Participants who receive false-positive colorectal cancer (CRC) screening results may experience negative psychosocial consequences e.g. anxiety and subsequent relief. Participants who receive false-positive CRC screening results may experience discomfort during the screening process. Participants who receive false-positive CRC screening results may experience longer term changes of self-perception. Participants who receive false-positive CRC screening results may experience ambivalence about the offered diagnostic down-stream procedures including colonoscopy.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
Sider (fra-til)145-154
Antal sider10
TidsskriftScandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care
Vol/bind37
Udgave nummer2
DOI
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2019

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