Background and Study Aims: The population-based colorectal cancer screening program with fecal immunochemical test (FIT) from the inaugural period to the rolling-out period may create a higher demand for colonoscopies, but such a change has not been quantified. We intended to assess the change in the compliance rate and the waiting time (WT) for a colonoscopy and the associated geographic and institutional variations across the 2 periods. Materials and Methods: Data from the Taiwanese nationwide colorectal cancer screening program were analyzed. The data included a total of 46,235 FIT-positive cases of 1,258,560 tests in the inaugural period (2004 to 2009) and 270,700 FIT-positive cases of 3,723,789 tests in the rolling-out period (2010 to 2013). The compliance rate and WT for colonoscopy after positive FIT was ascertained and compared between the 2 periods. Results: The rolling-out period resulted in a decline of 16.0% for compliance rate and yielded an additional 1,778,499 waiting days with variation across geography and institution. After adjusting for relevant factors, a decrease in compliance rate by 8.5% and an increase of 714,648 waiting days were still noted. In the rolling-out period, a remarkable decline in compliance rate by 9.8% was found in middle Taiwan, and the longest WT (1,260,109 d) was observed in southern Taiwan. Screening at public health centers led to a 19% decrease in compliance rate and an increase of 2,546,746 waiting days. Conclusions: The decrease in compliance rate and an increase in the WT with variation across geography and institution resulting from the increased volume of rolling-out FIT screening provide an insight into optimal resource allocation of clinical capacity for colonoscopy.
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