Screening individuals’ experiences of colonoscopy and colon capsule endoscopy; a mixed methods study

Marianne K. Thygesen*, Gunnar Baatrup, Christina Petersen, Niels Qvist, Rasmus Kroijer, Morten Kobaek-Larsen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Background: The standard investigation in colorectal cancer screening (optical colonoscopy [OC]) has a less invasive alternative with the colon capsule endoscopy (CCE). The experiences of screening individuals are needed to support a decision aid (DA) and to provide a patient view in future health technology assessments (HTA). We aimed to explore the experiences of CCE at home and OC in an outpatient clinic by screening participants who experienced both investigations on the same bowel preparation. Methods: In a mixed methods study, Danish screening individuals with a positive immunological fecal occult blood test (FIT) were consecutively included and underwent both CCE and OC in the same bowel preparation. They answered questionnaires about discomfort during CCE, delivered at home, and during a following OC in the outpatient clinic. Data were calculated in percentages and Wilcoxon signed rank test was used for comparisons. Among the 253 included patients, 10 participants were selected for a semi-structured interview about their experiences of the two examinations. The analysis and interpretation of the transcribed data were inspired by Ricoeur. Results: Questionnaire data were received from 239 participants and revealed significant less discomfort during the CCE than the OC. Interview data included explained discomfort elements in two categories: ‘The examination’ and ‘The setting’. Compared to OC, the CCE was experienced with less pain, embarrassment and invasiveness, but presented challenges and disadvantages as well, i.e., a large camera capsule to swallow, a longer waiting time for test results after CCE and an additional OC, if pathologies were found. The home setting for CCE delivery made the participants feel less like they were ill or patients less restricted and that they received more personal care, but could induce technical challenges. Conclusion: In screening individuals, CCE at home was associated with significantly less discomfort compared to OC at a hospital, and multiple reasons for this was identified.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalActa Oncologica
    Issue numbersuppl. 1
    Pages (from-to)S71-S76
    Publication statusPublished - 1. Apr 2019


    • Adult
    • colorectal neoplasms/prevention &
    • control
    • interviews as topic
    • patient at home
    • patient reported outcome measures
    • Follow-Up Studies
    • Attitude to Health
    • Humans
    • Middle Aged
    • Male
    • Colonoscopy/methods
    • Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis
    • Early Detection of Cancer/methods
    • Female
    • Aged
    • Capsule Endoscopy/methods


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