Purpose: In this scoping review, we examined the international literature on risk-stratified bowel screening to develop recommendations for future research, practice and policy. Methods: Six electronic databases were searched from inception to 18 October 2021: Medline, Embase, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. Forward and backwards citation searches were also undertaken. All relevant literature were included. Results: After de-deduplication, 3,629 records remained. 3,416 were excluded at the title/abstract screening stage. A further 111 were excluded at full-text screening stage. In total, 102 unique studies were included. Results showed that risk-stratified bowel screening programmes can potentially improve diagnostic performance, but there is a lack of information on longer-term outcomes. Risk models do appear to show promise in refining existing risk stratification guidelines but most were not externally validated and less than half achieved good discriminatory power. Risk assessment tools in primary care have the potential for high levels of acceptability and uptake, and therefore, could form an important component of future risk-stratified bowel screening programmes, but sometimes the screening recommendations were not adhered to by the patient or healthcare provider. The review identified important knowledge gaps, most notably in the area of organisation of screening services due to few pilots, and what risk stratification might mean for inequalities. Conclusion: We recommend that future research focuses on what organisational challenges risk-stratified bowel screening may face and a consideration of inequalities in any changes to organised bowel screening programmes.
Cairns, J. M., Greenley, S., Bamidele, O., & Weller, D. (2022). A scoping review of risk-stratified bowel screening: current evidence, future directions. Cancer Causes and Control, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10552-022-01568-9