- Those with no previous experience of colonoscopy were considerably more nervous about the procedure than those who had already undergone colonoscopy (74% vs 49%)
- Current lack of public understanding around colonoscopy may be negatively impacting on number of eligible people attending their colonoscopy appointment
- Less than half (45%) of those who had not had the procedure knew that a colonoscopy could prevent colorectal cancer
AMSTERDAM, April 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- NORGINE B.V. (Norgine) today published the findings of a public survey at the European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) Days in Prague as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first colonoscopy. ,, This important study highlights the need to increase public understanding of the important role of colonoscopy in the prevention and diagnosis of gastrointestinal diseases including colorectal cancer. The survey was conducted across five major European countries and included both people who had undergone a colonoscopy and those who have no previous experience with the procedure.
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The study findings highlighted the misconceptions and strong negative associations about colonoscopy amongst those who have had no previous experience with the procedure. Those with no previous experience of colonoscopy were considerably more nervous about the procedure than those who had already undergone colonoscopy (74% vs 49%). This may be one of the reasons why many eligible people do not attend their colonoscopy appointments each year  - a vital procedure for the prevention and diagnosis of gastrointestinal diseases, including colorectal cancer. The target population for colorectal cancer screening in the EU is close to 69,000,000, but only 14% of the target population is currently being screened.
This study has highlighted the benefit of public education to increase understanding of the importance of the colonoscopy procedure, and particularly its important role in preventing colorectal cancer. Less than half (45%) of those who had not had the procedure knew that a colonoscopy could prevent colorectal cancer. Other findings suggested the need to improve patient experience of the procedure, including bowel preparation and the provision of relevant information. This may provide an opportunity for healthcare professionals to further support their patients.
"This survey highlights the lack of information about colonoscopy in public domain. Clinicians need to provide easily accessible and clear information about colonoscopy to improve the uptake of bowel cancer screening program in our fight against colorectal cancer," said Professor Pradeep Bhandari, Consultant Gastroenterologist, QA Hospital, Portsmouth.
In the 50 years since the first colonoscopy, the procedure has become a crucial tool in the prevention and detection of gastrointestinal disorders, including colorectal cancer. Despite significant advances, however, the variation in uptake across Europe continues to prevent the potential of colonoscopy being fully realised for patients and health systems.
The survey asked 500 and 2500 people with and without colonoscopy experience across five main EU countries (UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy) about their experience and understanding of colonoscopy.,,
Notes to Editors:
Key findings of the survey include: ,,
- Addressing the impact of the public's negative associations to colonoscopy:
- Those who had previously undergone a colonoscopy tend to be less negative towards the procedure than those with no personal experience. More specifically:
- They would be less nervous to have a colonoscopy (49% vs. 74%)
- They would be less embarrassed (43% vs. 59%)
- Fewer think having a colonoscopy is painful (25% vs. 40%)
- Fewer would be worried about a colonoscopy being painful (37% vs. 59%)
- People who had a colonoscopy were often positively surprised about the experience with the majority (59%) felt it was better than expected
- There is room for improvement on the colonoscopy experience to encourage its uptake across Europe:
- Bowel preparation: There is a gap between patient expectations and clinical reality in the amount of bowel preparation liquid volume patients had to consume 
- Unmet need for information: There is a need to further support the dialogue between healthcare professionals and patients and also improve the availability of public information resources to increase understanding of the procedure on both diagnosis and prevention. In patients who had never undergone a colonoscopy:
- less than 4 in 10 believe colonoscopy is used for removal of unusual growth (35%)
- 45% knew a colonoscopy could be used for preventing bowel cancer
About the survey
A quantitative study in the UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy to compare selected attitudes in the population who never had a colonoscopy versus people who have had a colonoscopy in the recent past. Participants included adults who had never had a colonoscopy (n=500 per country) and those who had a colonoscopy in the last five years (n=100 per country). The methodology used online interviews with closed questions only. The study was conducted by GfK and supported by Norgine. ,,
About Colorectal Cancer and colonoscopy
Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related mortality world-wide. Colorectal cancer is largely preventable, with early detection being associated with a 90% with a 90% 5-year survival rate. Colonoscopy is an effective method for colorectal cancer screening and has been shown to reduce both the incidence and mortality of colorectal cancer when applied in the general population. Inadequate pre-colonoscopy bowel cleansing reduces the diagnostic accuracy of colonoscopy, particularly for the detection of smaller lesions and sessile (slightly flattened) polyps. This may result in repeated procedures, thereby potentially increasing patient burden, resource requirement and costs and can possibly delay the initiation of treatment.,,
Norgine is a leading European specialist pharmaceutical company with a direct commercial presence in all major European markets. Norgine specialises in gastroenterology, hepatology, cancer and supportive care. In 2017, Norgine's total net product sales were EUR 345 million, up 17 per cent.
Norgine employs over 1,000 people across its commercial, development and manufacturing operations and manages all aspects of product development, production, marketing, sale and supply.
In 2012, Norgine established a complementary business, Norgine Ventures, supporting innovative healthcare companies through the provision of debt-like financing in Europe and the US. For more information, please visit www.norgineventures.com
NORGINE and the sail logo are trademarks of the Norgine group of companies.
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GL/COR/0419/0185, Date of preparation April 2019