Identifying Gender Barriers for Colorectal Cancer Screening and Assessing the Need for a Multigender Endoscopy Team: A Prospective Multicenter Study.

Journal: The American Journal Of Gastroenterology

Introduction: Gender preferences have been reported as a barrier to colorectal cancer screening, particularly among women. We aim to identify the role of patients' gender preferences for endoscopists and endoscopy team members, with the effect of age-related and regional differences.

Methods: We conducted an anonymous, voluntary survey of all adult outpatients presenting at our endoscopy centers before their procedures.

Results: We received 2,138 (1,207 women, 905 men, and 26 undisclosed; 50% urban and 50% rural) completed surveys. The majority of the patients (89%) did not have an endoscopist gender preference, while 8% preferred a same-gender endoscopist, and 2% preferred an opposite gender endoscopist. Among patients who expressed a gender preference, men more commonly preferred a same-gender endoscopist than women (91% vs 67%, P < 0.05). More patients preferred a same-gender endoscopy team member than a same-gender endoscopist (17% vs 8%, P < 0.05), and women more commonly preferred a same-gender endoscopy team member than men (26% vs 6%, P < 0.05). Most patients who expressed same-gender endoscopist preference were between the ages of 50-69 years as compared to other age groups (P < 0.05). Of the urban patients, 9% expressed a same-gender endoscopist preference and 3% expressed an opposite gender preference, compared with 7% and 2% of rural patients (P < 0.05). Among patients with any endoscopist gender preference, rural patients were more willing to wait longer (41% vs 21%, P < 0.05), whereas urban patients were willing to pay more (64% vs 14%, P < 0.05) to have their preferences met. Discussion: Contrary to previous studies, most patients did not have an endoscopist gender preference. Interestingly, men had more same-gender endoscopist preference, whereas women had more same-gender endoscopy team member preference. Age-related and regional differences exist among patients' gender preferences for their endoscopist and endoscopy team member, and addressing these preferences while creating an environment of a multigender endoscopy team may be beneficial in improving colorectal cancer screening.

Harshit Khara, Darshan Suthar, Marika Bergenstock, Andrea Berger, Jessica Mckee, Dana Stewart, Samuel Theis, Michael Komar, Amitpal Johal, Diego Valencia Chavez, William Hale, Rakhee Mangla

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