Self-perceived Mental Health Status and Uptake of Fecal Occult Blood Test for Colorectal Cancer Screening in Canada: A Cross-Sectional Study

Document Type : Original Article


1 School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

2 Regional Knowledge Hub, and WHO Collaborating Centre for HIV Surveillance, Institute for Futures Studies in Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran


While colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most preventable causes of cancer mortality, it is one of the leading causes of cancer death in Canada where CRC screening uptake is suboptimal. Given the increased rate of mortality and morbidity among mental health patients, their condition could be a potential barrier to CRC screening due to greater difficulties in adhering to behaviours related to long-term health goals. Using a population-based study among Canadians, we hypothesize that self-perceived mental health (SPMH) status and fecal occult blood test (FOBT) uptake for the screening of CRC are associated.
The current study is cross-sectional and utilised data from the Canadian Community Health Survey 2011-2012. Multinomial logistic regression analysis was undertaken to assess whether SPMH is independently associated with FOBT uptake among a representative sample of 11 386 respondents aged 50-74 years.
Nearly half of the respondents reported having ever had FOBT for CRC screening, including 37.28% who have been screened within two years of the survey and 12.41% who had been screened more than two years preceding the survey. Respondents who reported excellent mental health were more likely to have ever been screened two years or more before the survey (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.08; 95% CI, 1.00-4.43) and to have been screened in the last two years preceding the survey (AOR = 1.53; 95% CI, 0.86-2.71) than those reported poor mental health status.
This study supports the association between SPMH status and FOBT uptake for CRC screening. While the efforts to maximize CRC screening uptake should be deployed to all eligible people, those with poor mental health may need more attention.


Main Subjects

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