A proposal for an evidence-based model of the screening for the colorectal carcinoma in an Italian setting


Introduction. The aim of this paper is to improve the feasibility perception of policymakers, health care workers and target population about the cost-effectiveness of the implementation of colorectal screening as Public Health strategy. Methods. Retrospective study by application of a three-step model designed for a local setting in Sicily (Palermo and its Province) in order to distribute Fecal Occult Blood Tests (FOBTs), offer colonoscopy and surgery, by district allocation of pharmacies, public digestive endoscopic centres and oncologic and general surgery units. Mean adherence to consolidated colorectal screening programs in Italy was applied in order to evaluate the feasibility of an operative model in our area. Results. Applying the model to the target population (269,368 individuals of both sexes), it can be expected a mean percentage of 79% delivered invitation and a mean participation rate of 46.3% accounting for a total of 213,070 invited individuals and 98,651 participating in the first round of the program. Furthermore, considering the national mean of 6% positive FOBT, 82% of colonscopy adhesion and 7% CRC detection rate, it can be scheduled a burden for health care structures involved in the program accounting for 49,325 FOBTs, 2,338 colonscopies and 141 surgeries for each year. Discussion. This work demonstrates the feasibility of a colorectal screening project in our area, showing a sustainable impact for local health care involved structures. Furthermore, this program may be spread as an applicative model to other areas, adapting the project to the needs of the local setting in which the colorectal screening will be organized.