Characteristics of Innovation: Fecal Immunochemical Test and Fecal Occult Blood Test – Diagnostic Tests Example

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"Characteristics of Innovation: Fecal Immunochemical Test and Fecal Occult Blood Test" is a wonderful example of a paper on diagnosis tests. Based on the results of the study conducted regarding the different methods in colorectal cancer screening tests, FIT and FOBT were found to have a few contrasting characteristics of innovation. FIT is found to have a better relative advantage since it did not require patients to go on food restrictions before or even during the test since vitamins, foods, and drugs do not alter its accuracy   On the other hand, although the attitudes of the participants in the study expressed favorability in both methods since both tests do not require them to collect samples of their stools within the medical facilities, but rather at home, they still found both methods very inconvenient since handling or mailing stool samples is embarrassing and offensive.

The three-sample testing that both CRC screening tests offer the patients obtain relatively high trialability. Patients can basically try out one sampling first and see how it goes, and give them two more tries in case the first one was not a success.

The complexity of innovation is also a characteristic that both FIT and FOBT have in common even when patients generally thought the procedures are simple. It is, however, their multi-step instruction in collecting stool samples make it complicated for the patients to adhere to. In the same way, observability is low when it comes to both CRS screening test methods since the issue itself is not openly communicated in the media, as well as in group discussions among friends and family or even in society unlike other forms of cancer. The characteristics that I have identified after reading about FOBT for the chapter’ s class activity are basically similar to the ones identified above.

The inconveniences that going through a restricted diet before conducting or having FOBT and daily collection of stool for sampling are something anyone I think would be too much to handle, along with the awkwardness and troublesome process of smearing the kits with the stool specimen. Otherwise, FOBT is likely to be adopted by anyone in the community in order to prevent CRC. A few of the suggestions that the participants in the study conducted involve more on the convenience of administering the process of collecting stool samples as well as on awareness.

Specifically, participants suggest that improving the FIT packaging would avoid the procedure being overlooked and ignored since the light-weight packaging may possibly end up in the trash bin and mistaken as any other promotional emails. Although the convenience of administering the stool sampling at home is favorable, participants suggest that hand-on process instructions would be helpful particularly in collecting appropriate and valid samples for screening.

However, the “ gross” way of going through all the processes provides the most inconvenience. Thus, they suggest that adding a storage device to securely contain fecal samples until they are returned to the doctor may make the FIT more acceptable (Harden, Moore, and Melvin, 2011). The unclear instructions in the kits make the steps difficult for them to keep up with, particularly those who lack the skills and confidence in doing them by themselves. When obtained from the medical provider, one participant suggested that they should be educated on what the process is, how they should do it, and what to look for while conducting the sampling.

Video instructions or illustrated instructions are recommended by the participants to resolve such concerns. Other than the characteristics of innovation, environmental characteristics are also factors that are identified to impede the increase in people having colon cancer screening. Insufficient awareness of the innovations that prevent CRC affects their adoption. Aside from the media, health care provider intervention is also low therefore patients do not avail of any CRC test. In addition, the cost is also an issue that is identified to cause such refusal to adhere to CRC screening.

Although the initial screening tests are affordable, diagnostic follow-up services are quite expensive and not readily available particularly to those whose health care insurance does not cover such medical services.


Harden E, Moore A, Melvin C. “Exploring perceptions of colorectal cancer and fecal

immunochemical testing among African Americans in a North Carolina community.” Prev Chronic Dis 2011;8(6):A134.Web. 18 May 2014.

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