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Interview 21

Age at interview: 68
Brief Outline: She was invited to be screened for bowel cancer in 2006, but for various reasons she decided not to do the faecal occult blood (FOB) test.
Background: A white British woman, a carer (part time), married, with 3 children.

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She was invited to be screened for bowel cancer in 2006, but for various reasons she decided not to do the Faecal Occult Blood test (FOBt). Initially she intended to do the test but she found the instructions confusing and did not understand that she had 14 days in which to do the test and that there was no need to do the test three days in a row.

 

Explains why she did not do the test - mainly because she thought she had to take stool samples...

Explains why she did not do the test - mainly because she thought she had to take stool samples...

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Can you remember what was most important in the information that swayed your decision?

Well nothing in the [initial] information. That was all very straight forward. It was just the actual doing of it; actually doing the test itself that completely put me off.

Which aspect of actually doing it was the, put you off the most?

I think it was the actual having to take the, the faeces at different times. I just couldn't get my head round to doing that.

I think if it could be made simpler.

And easier and if you could do it in one go then I think I would consider it. But having to do the three and all that, it just really, I just didn't um'

Was it the thought of actually having to handle faeces?

No, no because I've done that in my career as a carer, no it was just the time element and how you had to go about it and, and if it had just been one, a one off then may be I would have considered it, but it was just the time, it was just having to do the three, that really, that really, it was off-putting for me. I just, I would have just like to have gone to the bathroom, done what I'd got to do, posted it off and be done with it instead of having to keep going back.

Did the information book make it clear why they asked you to do it three times?

Well yes because of course the different; you know passing the different faeces obviously can give different, different readings. That is the only thing I can say I found it a bit complicated.

Did the information make it sound complicated?

Yes, yes actually it did.

I wonder how we could make it a bit simpler. Would you have found it easier if you'd had to go to the GP and had the nurse help you do it?

Yes.

And might you have done it if they'd sent you to the GPs?

Yes, yes most definitely. It was just I found it very, as I say I found it complicated, and these different slots that you'd got to put it, nothing at all to do with doing the, with the faeces, nothing at all, it was just how I'd got to do it.

Please could you explain what was most difficult for you and what was most confusing?

The time element, I didn't know whether once I did it, with taking my first sample I, I didn't know whether I'd got to take my next sample the next day and the last sample the following day or, it didn't seem to explain properly. I didn't realise until I was being interviewed and it was pointed out that I'd got fourteen days from opening the sample that I'd got fourteen days to do it when it was convenient to myself. I thought it had got to be 1, 2, 3 right off. Now I know, and it's been explained and I can understand, I'm willing to do it because I know that I haven't got to force it within, I've got fourteen days. So it can be done at my convenience and when it's suitable for me, as long as it's within those fourteen days. Before I thought I'd got to do, and it isn't everyone that [laughs] that can do it three consecutive days. And I find now you've explained this to me that I feel more at ease with it.
 

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