- By Elizabeth Zimmermann
Science Saturday: Improving implementation of best practice guidelines for colorectal cancer screening
Why does it take so long for new biomedical evidence to become accepted as standard practice in medicine? For example, in a May 2018 updated recommendation American Cancer Society recommended colorectal cancer screening for people of average risk starting at age 45, instead of age 50, as in previous guidance. In June 2021, the U.S. Preventive Services Taskforce updated its recommendation for colorectal cancer screening to match. That three-year gap between formal adoption at the federal level is not unusual for new practice guidelines. It is an example of what investigators study in the Implementation Science Program in the Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery. They examine why it generally takes many years for good, solid evidence to become accepted as common practice and identify ways to accelerate the widespread adoption of best practices in health care.
In a recent publication, a multidisciplinary team developed a tool to assess factors shaping clinician beliefs and behaviors surrounding average-risk colorectal cancer screening strategies, using the adoption of the multi-target stool DNA (mt-sDNA) test as an example.
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