Early Adoption of a Multitarget Stool DNA Test for Colorectal Cancer Screening

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To characterize early adoption of a novel multitarget stool DNA (MT-sDNA) screening test for colorectal cancer (CRC) screening and to test the hypothesis that adoption differs by demographic characteristics and prior CRC screening behavior and proceeds predictably over time.

Patients and Methods:

We used the Rochester Epidemiology Project research infrastructure to assess the use of the MT-sDNA screening test in adults aged 50 to 75 years living in Olmsted County, Minnesota, in 2014 and identified 27,147 individuals eligible or due for screening colonoscopy from November 1, 2014, through November 30, 2015. We used electronic Current Procedure Terminology and Health Care Common Procedure codes to evaluate early adoption of the MT-sDNA screening test in this population and to test whether early adoption varies by age, sex, race, and prior CRC screening behavior.


Overall, 2193 (8.1%) and 974 (3.6%) individuals were screened by colonoscopy and MT-sDNA, respectively. Age, sex, race, and prior CRC screening behavior were significantly and independently associated with MT-sDNA screening use compared with colonoscopy use after adjustment for all other variables (P<.05 for all). The rates of adoption of MT-sDNA screening increased over time and were highest in those aged 50 to 54 years, women, whites, and those who had a history of screening. The use of the MT-sDNA screening test varied predictably by insurance coverage. The rates of colonoscopy decreased over time, whereas overall CRC screening rates remained steady.


The results of the present study are generally consistent with predictions derived from prior research and the diffusion of innovation framework, pointing to increasing use of the new screening test over time and early adoption by younger patients, women, whites, and those with prior CRC screening.

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