Introduction Service evaluation is of paramount importance for the continued improvement and development of any health intervention and there is very little documented evidence that examines the attitudes and perceptions of Bowel Screeing Wales (BSW) stakeholders. Anecdotal evidence has suggested several factors that contribute towards the uptake of bowel screening in Wales, such as, lack of understanding around screening, the nature of the test, and the will to complete the test, but this evidence has not been evaluated or documented.
Methods A qualitative descriptive approach was undertaken and semi-structured interviews were conducted with stakeholders at the Royal Welsh Show, Builth Wells, Powys during July 2012 to gauge their attitudes, perceptions, and barriers towards bowel screening. Inclusion criteria was for all eligible men and women aged between 60–74 years who have been invited to be screened.
Results 42 participants agreed to take part in the interview (19 male and 23 female) of which 31 participants reported completing their bowel screening test with 12 participants reporting they had not.
The results indicate that participants are aware of cancer and have a very basic knowledge regarding bowel cancer but are not necessarily aware of the function of the bowel screening programme. A content analysis framework was developed (Newell & Burnard, 2006) which identified two major themes; health beliefs and health behaviour. This service evaluation suggests that participant’s perceived susceptibility influences their decisions to take part. Participants who are not aware of BSW or the risks associated with bowel cancer will not complete the kit. Furthermore, this service evaluation suggests that participants who do not present with symptoms are also less-likely to complete their kit. Furthermore, only a very small number of participants sited fear or anxiety as a contributing factor for participating even though they were aware that the kit was to test for cancer. Majority of the participants who declined the invitation suggested that this was due to dealing with their faecal matter. It is interesting to note that their reasons for not completing their kit were lethargy and apathy.
Conclusion Service evaluations are essential in understanding the attitudes and perceptions of stakeholders. The findings from this service evaluation suggest that participants have a limited knowledge of the risks associated with bowel cancer and know very little about the programme but perceive screening to be important. However participants perceived severity and susceptibility are contributing factors in their participation to accept or decline the invitation to be screened.
Disclosure of Interest D. Snelling Employee of: Bowel Screening Wales, H. Heard: None Declared
Newell, R; Burnard, P (2006) Research for evidence-based practise. Blackwell publishing. Oxford. UK.
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