Alaska Native Patient and Provider Perspectives on the Multitarget Stool DNA Test Compared With Colonoscopy for Colorectal Cancer Screening

Diana G. Redwood, Ian D. Blake, Ellen M. Provost, John B. Kisiel, Frank D. Sacco, David A. Ahlquist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: Alaska Native (AN) people have among the world’s highest rate of colorectal cancer (CRC). We assessed perceptions of AN people and their health care providers of a new take-home multitarget stool DNA test (MT-sDNA; Cologuard) relative to colonoscopy. Methods: Cross-sectional surveys of AN people aged 40 to 75 years (mailed) and providers (online). Results: Participants included 1616 AN patients (19% response rate) and 87 providers (26% response rate; 57% AN people). Over half (58%) of patients preferred colonoscopy for CRC screening, while 36% preferred MT-sDNA. Unscreened patients were significantly more likely to state a preference for MT-sDNA than previously screened patients (42% vs 31%, P <.05) as were younger patients (<60 years old) compared with older patients (40% vs 30%, P <.05). Most providers thought that MT-sDNA would improve screening rates (69%), would recommend if available (79%), and be implementable (79%). Perceived barriers differed substantially between patients and providers in both type and magnitude. Leading colonoscopy barriers reported by patients were travel (44%) and bowel preparation (40%), while providers thought that fear of pain (92%) and invasiveness of the test (87%) were the primary barriers. For MT-sDNA, patients’ belief that colonoscopy was better (56%) and not knowing how to do the test (40%) were primary barriers, while providers thought stool collection (67%) and having a stool sample in their home (63%) were leading barriers. Conclusions: This study found that MT-sDNA has potential acceptability among AN people and their health care providers. Both groups reported a willingness to use MT-sDNA and did not perceive major barriers to its use. This preference was especially true of unscreened and younger patients. The majority of providers indicated they would use MT-sDNA if available and that it would improve CRC screening rates. In this population, where colonoscopy access is limited, MT-sDNA has the potential to improve CRC screening adherence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Primary Care and Community Health
StatePublished - 2019


  • Alaska Native
  • Cologuard
  • adherence
  • colonoscopy
  • colorectal cancer
  • multitarget stool DNA testing
  • prevention
  • screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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