Background: Screening for colorectal cancer has been clearly shown to decrease the incidence and mortality from this disease. Accurate information about the demand and capacity for screening, particularly with colonoscopy, is critical in planning screening strategies. National assessments have recently begun; estimates of smaller geographic regions should improve the accuracy of national estimates, as well as inform strategies for individual states. This study evaluates the demand and capacity for colonoscopy in the state of New Hampshire. Methods: All endoscopy sites in the state of New Hampshire were contacted to determine their number of endoscopists, monthly colonoscopies, and estimates of the percentage of colonoscopy done for screening. Barriers to increasing current capacity were also assessed. The capacity estimates were compared to demand estimates based on population census figures. Data were collected in 2003 to 2004 and analyzed in 2005 to 2006. Results: One hundred fourteen endoscopists at 36 centers performed 49,352 colonoscopies in 2002, an average of 39 to 43 total monthly colonoscopies per endoscopist. Approximately 60% were estimated to have been done for screening. Estimated demand was approximately twice the available capacity for screening and surveillance. The impact of factors such as compliance, percent screening, and population growth were assessed to inform future screening strategies. Conclusions: In 2002, demand for screening colonoscopy in New Hampshire for patients aged more than 50 years was approximately twice the available capacity. However, if the assessed screening capacity of 2002 were to increase by 20%, combined with a target of 60% population compliance with screening as an initial goal, the demand for colonoscopy in New Hampshire would be met.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health