Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Comparing uptake across breast, cervical and bowel screening at an individual level: a retrospective cohort study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Colin McCowan, Paula McSkimming, Richard Papworth, Marie Kotzur, Alex McConnachie, Sara Macdonald, Sally Wyke, Emilia Crighton, Christine Campbell, David Weller, Robert JC Steele, Kathryn A Robb

School/Research organisations



We investigated demographic and clinical predictors of lower participation in bowel screening relative to breast and cervical screening.


Data linkage study of routinely collected clinical data from 430,591 women registered with general practices in the Greater Glasgow & Clyde Health Board. Participation in the screening programmes was measured by attendance at breast or cervical screening or the return of a bowel screening kit.


72.6% of 159,993 women invited attended breast screening, 80.7% of 309,899 women invited attended cervical screening and 61.7% of 180,408 women invited completed bowel screening. Of the 68,324 women invited to participate in all three screening programmes during the study period, 52.1% participated in all three while 7.2% participated in none. Women who participated in breast (OR = 3.34 (3.21, 3.47), p < 0.001) or cervical (OR = 3.48 (3.32, 3.65), p < 0.001) were more likely to participate in bowel screening.


Participation in bowel screening was lower than breast or cervical for this population although the same demographic factors were associated with uptake, namely lower social deprivation, increasing age, low levels of comorbidity and prior non-malignant neoplasms. As women who complete breast and cervical are more likely to also complete bowel screening, interventions at these procedures to encourage bowel screening participation should be explored.



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)710–714
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number8
Early online date4 Sep 2019
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2019

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Impact of COVID-19 on accident and emergency attendances and emergency and planned hospital admissions in Scotland: an interrupted time-series analysis

    Mulholland, R. H., Wood, R., Stagg, H. R., Fischbacher, C., Villacampa, J., Simpson, C. R., Vaseleiou, E., McCowan, C., Stock, S. J., Docherty, A. B., Ritchie, L. D., Agrawal, U., Robertson, C., Murray, J. L. K., MacKenzie, F. & Sheikh, A., 4 Oct 2020, In : Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. Online First

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Changes over a decade in psychotropic prescribing for people with intellectual disabilities: prospective cohort study

    Henderson, A., Mcskimming, P., Kinnear, D., McCowan, C., McIntosh, A., Allan, L. & Cooper, S. A., 10 Sep 2020, In : BMJ Open. 10, 9, 9 p., e036862.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Earlier diagnosis of lung cancer in a randomised trial of an autoantibody blood test followed by imaging

    Sullivan, F. M., Mair, F. S., Anderson, W., Armory, P., Briggs, A., Chew, C., Dorward, A., Haughney, J., Hogarth, F., Kendrick, D., Littleford, R., Mcconnachie, A., McCowan, C., Mcmeekin, N., Patel, M., Rauchhaus, P., Ritchie, L., Robertson, C., Robertson, J., Robles-Zurita, J. & 8 others, Sarvesvaran, J., Sewell, H., Sproule, M., Taylor, T., Tello, A., Treweek, S., Vedhara, K. & Schembri, S., 30 Jul 2020, In : European Respiratory Journal. Early View, 2000670.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Cost burden of Clostridioides difficile infection to the health service: a retrospective cohort study in Scotland

    Robertson, C., Pan, J., Kavanagh, K., Ford, I., McCowan, C., Bennie, M., Marwick, C. & Leanord, A., 24 Jul 2020, In : Journal of Hospital Infection. In press

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Linkage of national health and social care data: a cross-sectional study of multimorbidity and social care use in people aged over 65 years in Scotland

    Henderson, D. A. G., Atherton, I., McCowan, C., Mercer, S. W. & Bailey, N., 16 Jul 2020, In : Age and Ageing. Advance Article, 7 p., afaa134.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Antitumour activity of the novel flavonoid oncamex in preclinical breast cancer models

    Martínez-Pérez, C., Ward, C., Turnbull, A. K., Mullen, P., Cook, G., Meehan, J., Jarman, E. J., Thomson, P. I. T., Campbell, C. J., McPhail, D., Harrison, D. J. & Langdon, S. P., 13 Apr 2016, In : British Journal of Cancer. 114, 8, p. 905-916

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Aspirin use and survival after the diagnosis of breast cancer: A population-based cohort study

    Fraser, D. M., Sullivan, F. M., Thompson, A. M. & McCowan, C., 29 Jul 2014, In : British Journal of Cancer. 111, 3, p. 623-627 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Chemotherapy-induced dynamic gene expression changes in vivo are prognostic in ovarian cancer

    Koussounadis, A., Langdon, S. P., Harrison, D. J. & Smith, V. A., 10 Jun 2014, In : British Journal of Cancer. 110, 12, p. 2975-2984 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Cohort study of adherence to adjuvant endocrine therapy, breast cancer recurrence and mortality

    Makubate, B., Donnan, P. T., Dewar, J. A., Thompson, A. M. & Mccowan, C., 1 Apr 2013, In : British Journal of Cancer. 108, 7, p. 1515-1524 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 260580859