Utilization of surveillance colonoscopy in Germany: Current status and future concepts


Inappropriate use of surveillance colonoscopies in Germany: Extent, determinants and development of resolutions
Colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer in Germany. In most cases, colorectal cancer develops over a long period of time from precancerous lesions which can be removed during a colonoscopy. Individuals who had precancerous lesions should undergo regular surveillance colonoscopies. The recommended time interval for these surveillance colonoscopies varies according to the prior diagnosis. It depends on the severity of the precancerous lesions and thus on the related risk. However, there are indications that the recommended time intervals are often not met, namely, low risk patients too frequently undergo surveillance colonoscopies while those with high risk do it too rarely or not at all. Avoiding this over- and underuse could help to utilize the available resources sensibly and at the same time to improve the effectiveness of colorectal cancer screening. The project aims to investigate the extent to which there is inappropriate use of control colonoscopies in Germany and to examine its determinants. Based on the findings, concepts to counteract this inappropriate use are developed. The project evaluates health insurance data of approximately 20 million people and interviews about 11,000 persons who underwent a colonoscopy 5-8 years ago.
With the introduction of organized programs for the colorectal cancer screening in Germany and in many other countries the topic will become increasingly relevant. As a result, the project also has exemplary character on the international level

Funding period

Begin:   February 2017
End:   October 2020


  • The Federal Joint Committee (G-BA)


Prof. Dr. sc. hum. Ulrike Haug