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01.12.2012 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2012 Open Access

BMC Health Services Research 1/2012

Patient-centered, comparative effectiveness of esophageal cancer screening: protocol for a comparative effectiveness research study to inform guidelines for evidence-based approach to screening and surveillance endoscopy

BMC Health Services Research > Ausgabe 1/2012
Jennifer R Kramer, Jennifer Arney, John Chen, Peter Richardson, Zhigang Duan, Richard L Street Jr, Marilyn Hinojosa-Lindsey, Aanand D Naik, Hashem B El-Serag
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1472-6963-12-288) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Aanand D Naik and Hashem B El-Serag contributed equally to this work.

Competing interests

There are no financial or non-financial competing interests for any of the authors.

Authors’ contributions

JRK: Participated in the study design and drafting of the protocol. JA: Participated in the design and drafting of the qualitative aims of the protocol. JC: Participated in the design and drafting of the data analysis plan in the protocol. PR: Participated in the design and drafting of the data analysis plan in the protocol. ZD: Participated in drafting the data analysis plan. RLS: Conceived of the integration of the qualitative and quantitative aims and drafting of the protocol. MHL: Participated in the qualitative analysis section of the protocol and the overall coordination of the project. ADN: Conceived of the design of the qualitative aims and participated in drafting the protocol. HES: The principal investigator of the grant proposal: conceived of the study, obtained funding, and participated in designing and drafting the protocol. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



The comparative effectiveness (CE) of endoscopic screening (versus no screening) for Barrett’s esophagus (BE) in patients with GERD symptoms, or among different endoscopic surveillance strategies in patients with BE, for the early detection of esophageal adenocarcinoma (EA) is unknown. Furthermore, it is unclear if patients or providers have or will adopt any of these strategies (screening only, screening and surveillance, vs. none), irrespective of their effectiveness. Endoscopic screening and surveillance is expensive and can be risky. Therefore, it is imperative to establish the CE and acceptability about the risks and outcomes related to these practices to better inform expert recommendations and provider-patient decisions.


We propose a mixed methods study which will involve: (1) an analysis of secondary databases (VA and VA-Medicare linked datasets for 2004–09) to examine CE of endoscopic screening and surveillance in an observational study cohort (an estimated 680,000 patients with GERD; 25,000–30,000 with BE; and 3,000 with EA); (2) a structured electronic medical record (EMR) review on a national sample of patients using VA EMRs to verify all EA cases, identify cancer stage, cancer-targeted therapy, and validate the screening and surveillance endoscopy; and (3) qualitative in depth interviews with patients and providers to elicit preferences, norms, and behaviors to explain clinical contexts of these findings and address gaps arising from the CE study.


This study will compare clinical strategies for detecting and monitoring BE, a pre-cancerous lesion. Additionally, by eliciting acceptability of these strategies for patients and providers, we will be able to propose effective and feasible strategies that are likely to be implemented in routine use. Findings will inform recommendations for clinical practice guidelines. Our innovative approach is consistent with the methodological standards of patient-centered outcomes research, and our findings will offer a significant contribution to the literature on cancer surveillance.

Trial Registration

Not applicable
Additional file 1: I. Patient Interview Guide: Pre-diagnosis II. Patient Interview Guide: Post-diagnosis (no dysplasia, low- and high-grade dysplasia) III. Physician Interview Guide IV. Framework Analysis Coding Key (Patient Interviews).(DOC 102 KB)
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