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60% screening uptake may not happen for 10 years

13 Apr 2016

The BowelScreen Programme wants to increase uptake toward the internationally accepted standard of 60 per cent, but has said that this may take a number of screening rounds and possibly up to 10 years to achieve.

The programme completed its initial three-year round last December and all eligible men and women aged 60 to 69 were invited for free screening. This meant that more than 488,000 people were invited for screening and more than 182,000 completed a satisfactory home FIT test. This equated to a 37.4 per cent uptake rate.

As with all screening programmes, the choice to take up the invitation of screening is ultimately the client’s choice, explained the HSE.

From January 1 this year, the BowelScreen Programme has moved to a two-year round, which means that all men and women aged 60-69 years will receive an invitation every two years to participate in the free programme.

In order to maximise uptake, the National Screening Service has established ongoing communications campaigns on radio, billboards, social media, and various clubs.

The NSS also employs screening promotion officers who regularly attend national events and meet with local communities and advocacy groups in order to spread the benefits of regular screening.

Gary Culliton

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Irish Medical Times