Objectives: To assess patients’ experience of bowel preparation and procedure for screening CT colonography with reduced (r-CTC) and full cathartic preparation (f-CTC) that showed similar detection rate for advanced neoplasia in a randomised trial. Methods: Six hundred seventy-four subjects undergoing r-CTC and 612 undergoing f-CTC in the SAVE trial were asked to complete two pre-examination questionnaires—(1) Life Orientation Test - Revised (LOT-R) assessing optimism and (2) bowel preparation questionnaire—and a post-examination questionnaire evaluating overall experience of CTC screening test. Items were analysed with chi-square and t test separately and pooled. Results: LOT-R was completed by 529 (78%) of r-CTC and by 462 (75%) of f-CTC participants and bowel preparation questionnaire by 531 (79%) subjects in the r-CTC group and by 465 (76%) in the f-CTC group. Post-examination questionnaire was completed by 525 (78%) subjects in the r-CTC group and by 453 (74%) in the f-CTC group. LOT-R average score was not different between r-CTC (14.27 ± 3.66) and f-CTC (14.54 ± 3.35) (p = 0.22). In bowel preparation questionnaire, 88% of r-CTC subjects reported no preparation-related symptoms as compared to 70% of f-CTC subjects (p < 0.001). No interference of bowel preparation with daily activities was reported in 80% of subjects in the r-CTC group as compared to 53% of subjects in the f-CTC group (p < 0.001). In post-examination questionnaire, average scores for discomfort of the procedure were not significantly different between r-CTC (3.53 ± 0.04) and f-CTC (3.59 ± 0.04) groups (p = 0.84). Conclusions: Reduced bowel preparation is better tolerated than full preparation for screening CT colonography. Key Points: • Reduced bowel preparation is better tolerated than full preparation for screening CT colonography. • Procedure-related discomfort of screening CT colonography is not influenced by bowel preparation. • Males tolerate bowel preparation and CT colonography screening procedure better than females.
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