Barriers and facilitators of colorectal cancer screening in Asia

13 Sep 2021
Sare Hatamian, Fatemeh Hadavandsiri, Zohre Momenimovahed, Hamid Salehiniya

Purpose: One of the most common cancers in Asia is colorectal cancer (CRC). Early diagnosis and timely treatment are necessary for preventing complications and advanced stages of the disease. It is important to evaluate barriers and facilitators of screening in different countries. This systematic review aimed to identify the barriers and facilitators of CRC screening in Asia.

Methods: In this systematic review, for identifying barriers and facilitators of CRC screening, a comprehensive search was conducted in PubMed, Web of Science and Scopus in 12 December 2020. Combination keywords such as colorectal cancer, screening, sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, faecal occult blood test, barriers, facilitators and the names of each Asian country were used for searching. Full text original studies in English language were accepted in the review.

Results: In total, 36 articles were included in the review. Barriers and facilitators were evaluated. The most common reported barriers were lack of knowledge, fear of result, fear of procedure, fear of pain, lack of awareness, high cost and lack of gastrointestinal symptoms. The most frequent facilitators were having knowledge and awareness of CRC screening, perceived risk and severity, family history of cancer and physician recommendation.

Conclusion: For promoting success in CRC screening programmes, knowing what the barriers and facilitators are is necessary. Awareness and various personal, professional and social factors have been shown to be the major barriers toward CRC screening in most Asian countries.

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