Understanding the potential and challenges of adenoma treatment as a prevention opportunity: insights from the BeWEL formative study

Martine Stead, Stephen Caswell, Angela M. Craigie, Douglas Eadie, Annie S. Anderson, Alison Kirk, The BeWEL team 3

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


To explore prevention opportunities presented by colorectal adenoma diagnosis and inform engagement strategies for the BeWEL study (body weight and physical activity lifestyle intervention for colorectal cancer screening participants who have undergone adenoma removal).
Qualitative study comprising 4 purposively sampled focus groups conducted in urban and rural areas in Tayside, Scotland, with different deprivation levels. Participants were men and women (n = 17) aged 50-74 with BMI > 25 kg/m2 with removal of adenoma detected by colorectal cancer screening.
Adenoma diagnosis presents both opportunities and challenges for prevention. Some patients perceived adenoma as minor and not sufficiently motivating to act as a ‘teachable moment’. Patients had low awareness of the relationship between adenoma and lifestyle factors, and received little information on prevention during screening and treatment. Consequently they interpreted post-treatment ‘all clear’ messages as validation of existing lifestyles, and did not see the relevance of prevention advice. Receptiveness increased when the association between lifestyle, adenoma recurrence and other illness was explained.
The study illustrates the value of exploratory research into patient understanding to improve communications and health services. Without unduly worrying patients, professionals should explain how to reduce risk of adenoma, cancer and other diseases, particularly through diet, physical activity and weight reduction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-103
Number of pages7
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • qualitative research
  • focus groups
  • cancer screening
  • adenoma
  • polyps
  • lifestyle
  • intervention
  • prevention


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