Implementing visual cues to improve the efficacy of screening colonoscopy: exploiting the Hawthorne effect

Authors Eric Omar Then, Christopher Brana, Sriharsha Dadana, Srikanth Maddika, Andrew Ofosu, Sabrina Brana, Tina Wexler, Tagore Sunkara, Andrea Culliford, Vinaya Gaduputi.


Background Colonoscopy is the gold standard for colon cancer screening. Adenoma detection rate and a withdrawal time of 6 min are quality metrics to measure the efficacy of colonoscopy in colon cancer screening. The aim of our study was to exploit the Hawthorne effect in an effort to ensure adherence to a minimum 6-min withdrawal time and subsequently increase adenoma detection rate.

Methods This was a retrospective single-center study where we reviewed the records of patients who underwent screening colonoscopy in 2015 and 2017. We divided our patient population into 2 groups. The first group of patients from 2015 underwent screening colonoscopy with no visual cues on the colonoscopy monitor. The second group of patients from 2017 had visual cues indicating withdrawal time on the colonoscopy monitor.

Results Screening colonoscopy had a statistically significantly higher adenoma detection rate when performed with visual cues compared to without visual cues (25.3% vs. 19.45, P=0.04). Polyp detection rate was also higher in the group where visual cueing was used (52.9% vs. 22.9%, P<0.001). There were no statistically significant differences in actual withdrawal time or cecal intubation rates.

Conclusions Visual cues indicating withdrawal time are a useful intervention that results in an increased adenoma detection rate. Given its practicality and cost effectiveness, we recommend universally implementing visual cues to ensure adherence to a minimum 6-min withdrawal time.

Keywords Adenoma detection rate, polyp detection rate, cecal intubation rate, colorectal cancer, colonoscopy

Ann Gastroenterol 2020; 33 (4): 374-378

Original Articles