Contrasts in Practices and Perceived Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening by Nurses and Physicians Working in Primary Care Settings in Oman

Joshua Kanaabi Muliira, Melba Sheila D’Souza, Samira Maroof Ahmed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the fourth most common type of cancer worldwide and it is responsible for 610,000 deaths annually, despite availability of screening tests that ensure early detection. Predictions specific to the Middle East show that this region will experience a significant increase in cancer mortality over the next 15 years. This study explored the practices and perceived barriers to CRC screening from the perspective of health care providers (HCPs) working in primary care settings in Muscat, Oman. A cross-sectional design and self-administered questionnaires were used to collect data from 142 HCPs. The HCPs were nurses (57.7 %) and physicians (42.3 %) with average age and clinical experience of 32.5 and 9.5 years, respectively. The majority of the HCPs (64.8 %) rarely ordered, referred, health educated, or recommended CRC screening to eligible patients. The only major patient-related barrier to CRC screening reported by HCPs was lack of awareness about CRC tests (63.7 %). There were significant differences between nurses’ and physicians’ rating of patient-related barriers such as fear of cancer diagnosis (p = 0.037), belief that screening is not effective (p = 0.036), embarrassment or anxiety about screening tests (p = 0.022), and culture (p = 0.001). The major system barriers to CRC screening were lack of hospital policy or protocols, lack of trained HCPs, lack of CRC screening services, and timely appointments to get CRC screening. The findings indicate a need for interventions to enhance patient awareness, HCPs CRC screening practices, and strategies to ameliorate patient and system barriers to CRC screening.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Mar 5 2015



  • Barriers
  • Cancer prevention
  • Cancer screening
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Nurses
  • Oman
  • Physicians
  • Practices
  • Primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Oncology

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