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The role of primary care physicians in improving colorectal cancer screening in patients with HIV.

Momplaisir F, Long JA, Badolato G, Brady KA. The role of primary care physicians in improving colorectal cancer screening in patients with HIV. Journal of general internal medicine. 2012 Aug 1; 27(8):940-4.

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BACKGROUND: As HIV positive patients live longer, they become susceptible to the development of non-AIDS defining malignancies. Little is known about routine cancer screening practices in that population and the factors associated with cancer screening. OBJECTIVE: Evaluate 1) the proportion of patients with HIV who had any type of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening and 2) whether having a primary care physician (PCP) or seeking care in an integrated care practice is associated with higher CRC screening. DESIGN: A cross-sectional chart abstraction study of patients with HIV enrolled in the Philadelphia Medical Monitoring Project (MMP). PARTICIPANTS: MMP participants age 50 and older. MAIN MEASURES: CRC screening defined as having a documented colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, barium enema, or fecal occult blood test after the age of 50. KEY RESULTS: Out of 123 chart abstractions performed, 115 had a complete clinical record from MMP. The majority of the population was male (71.3%), Black/Hispanic (73.8%) and between the age of 50 and 59 (71.3%). 45.2% of patients did not have a PCP. The overall proportion of patients who received CRC screening was 46.9%. Having a documented PCP was the only factor strongly associated with CRC screening. Rates of screening were 66.7% among those with a PCP versus 28.5% among those without a PCP (?(2) p? < 0.001). After adjusting for race, socioeconomic status, substance and alcohol abuse, the odds of getting CRC screening in those with a PCP was 4.59 (95% CI 2.01-10.48, p? < 0.001). The type of practice where patients were enrolled into care was not associated with CRC screening. CONCLUSIONS: Having a PCP significantly increases the likelihood of receiving CRC screening in patients with HIV. Competency in addressing primary care needs in HIV clinics will only become more important as patients with HIV age.

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