Association Between Endoscopist Personality and Rate of Adenoma Detection

Published:October 13, 2018DOI:

      Background & Aims

      There is significant variation among endoscopists in their adenoma detection rates (ADRs). We explored associations between ADR and characteristics of endoscopists, including personality traits and financial incentives.


      We collected electronic health record data from October 2013 through September 2015 and calculated ADRs for physicians from 4 health systems. ADRs were risk-adjusted for differences in patient populations. Physicians were surveyed to assess financial motivations, knowledge and perceptions about colonoscopy quality, and personality traits. Of 140 physicians sent the survey, 117 responded.


      The median risk-adjusted ADR for all surveyed physicians was 29.3% (interquartile range, 24.1%–35.5%). We found no significant association between ADR and financial incentives, malpractice concerns, or physicians’ perceptions of ADR as a quality metric. ADR was associated with the degree of self-reported compulsiveness relative to peers: among endoscopists who described themselves as much more compulsive, the ADR was 33.1%; among those who described themselves as somewhat more compulsive, the ADR was 32.9%; among those who described themselves as about the same as others, the ADR was 26.4%; and among those who described themselves as somewhat less compulsive, the ADR was 27.3%) (P = .0019). ADR was also associated with perceived thoroughness (much more thorough than peers, ADR = 31.5%; somewhat more, 31.9%; same/somewhat less, 27.1%; P = .0173). Physicians who reported feeling rushed, having difficulty pacing themselves, or having difficulty in accomplishing goals had higher ADRs. A secondary analysis found the same associations between personality and adenomas per colonoscopy.


      We found no significant association between ADR and financial incentives, malpractice concerns, or perceptions of ADR as a quality metric. However, ADRs were higher among physicians who described themselves as more compulsive or thorough, and among those who reported feeling rushed or having difficulty accomplishing goals.


      Abbreviations used in this paper:

      ADR (adenoma detection rate), APC (adenoma per colonoscopy)
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