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Table 1 Study measurements

From: Factors influencing delay in the diagnosis of colorectal cancer: a study protocol

Age, gender, civil status, education, family history of cancer, symptom perception, confidence in the family doctor, and number of consultations until the first contact and reason for it.
- Site, hystological grade, TNM at diagnosis.
- First symptom, data of the first symptom and other symptoms.
Delay intervals:
- Time elapsed from the date the patient perceived the first symptom until the date of the first contact with a doctor as a result of the first symptom/s.
Health system-delay. This delay distinguishes the following phases:
- Time elapsed between the first contact with the health system (consultation with the family doctor, specialist, or emergency department) and until the date of referral to a specialist.-
- Time elapsed between referral to a specialist or emergency department and until the diagnosis. In this context diagnosis is understood as the date of the biopsy or direct surgery if that was the case.
- Time elapsed between diagnosis and treatment. In this context we consider surgical treatment. Failing on that chemotherapy or palliative care treatment as the first option.
Total delay: Sum of all previous delays. There will be a distinction between diagnostic and therapy delay.
Health system.
- Health professional who attended the patient at the first visit: Family doctor or specialist including which speciality.
- Teaching versus non-teaching primary care centre; urban versus rural ones and receiving hospital. – Hospital service that attended the patient in the various contacts during the diagnostic process.
- Number of consultations to the family doctor; to primary care emergency services; and to the specialist since the first contact. Consultations cancelled with family doctor and specialist.
- Complementary examinations done at the first visit: rectal exam; abdominal palpation; ultrasound; blood tests; X Ray films. Delay duration for each of the complementary tests. – Request and date of complementary tests at each contact prior to diagnosis. Results of complementary tests in order to exclude false negatives.
- Type of referral done by the family doctor to the specialist: preferential; programmed; emergency department. Diagnostic assessment and referral details in terms of presenting clinical picture, physical examinations.