Prospective cohort studies that reported on patient satisfaction with colonoscopy, patient willingness to return for colonoscopy under the same conditions or patient preference for colonoscopy compared to other large bowel procedures were included. Only articles published after 1997 were included following the publication of relevant guidelines, introduction of colonoscopy for screening and further developments in the technology. Studies were excluded if measurement of patient satisfaction focused on specific aspects of the colonoscopy experience, if the preference assessment was performed before the colonoscopy procedure and if interventions to improve patient satisfaction were assessed.
The number of participants ranged from 79 to 2,731. Mean patient age ranged from 51.5 to 62.7 years. The procedure used varied between studies: most studies used colonoscopy alone; other studies used computed tomographic (CT) colonography followed by colonoscopy, colonoscopy and upper endoscopy, air contrast barium enema followed by sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy and air contrast barium enema followed by computed tomographic colonography followed by colonoscopy. The percentage of screening colonoscopies and percentage of patients sedated for their colonoscopy ranged from 0% to 100% (where reported). In most studies assessments were taken immediately after the procedure. A range of rating scales were used and there was variation in methods of questionnaire administration.
The authors did not state how many reviewers performed the study selection.