Global perspective on colonoscopy use for colorectal cancer screening: a multi-country survey of practicing colonoscopists


To examine colorectal cancer screening practices among colonoscopy specialists from 5 countries and inform public health needs in improvement of the ongoing global crisis in colorectal cancer.


An online survey among colonoscopy specialists was conducted in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, and the United States. The survey covered topics on colonoscopy practices in the screening as well as in the treatment setting, as well as expected trends.


Participating colonoscopy specialists included 114 physicians from the United States, 81 from France, 80 from Germany, 80 from the United Kingdom, and 156 from Japan. Survey results revealed that 59%–73% of colonoscopies were performed in patients aged 50–75 years old, with 15%–23% performed in patients <50 years old. The proportion of patients with age-based versus symptom-based first colorectal cancer screening varied by country and age. Sedation protocols varied by country; however, rate of incomplete colonoscopy was low in all countries. The proportion of negative first colonoscopies decreased with age in all countries.


This multi-country survey of real-world clinical practices suggests a need for improved participation in population age-based colorectal cancer screening and possibly younger age of screening initiation than currently recommended by guidelines. The variation among countries in the proportion of patients who received their first colonoscopy due to age-based colorectal cancer screening versus symptom-based initial colonoscopy indicates that population-based screening initiatives and improved health outcomes will benefit from public health awareness programs.