What factors do patients consider most important in making lung cancer screening decisions? Findings from a demonstration project conducted in the Veterans Health Administration

Sarah E. Lillie, Steven S. Fu, Angela E. Fabbrini, Kathryn L. Rice, Barbara Clothier, David B. Nelson, Elizabeth A. Doro, M. Anas Moughrabieh, Melissa R. Partin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction The National Lung Screening Trial recently reported that annual low-dose computed tomography screening is associated with decreased lung cancer mortality in high-risk smokers. This study sought to identify the factors patients consider important in making lung cancer screening (LCS) decisions, and explore variations by patient characteristics and LCS participation. Material and methods This observational survey study evaluated the Minneapolis VA LCS Clinical Demonstration Project in which LCS-eligible Veterans (N = 1388) were randomized to either Direct LCS Invitation (mailed with decision aid, N = 926) or Usual Care (provider referral, N = 462). We surveyed participants three months post-randomization (response rate 44%) and report the proportion of respondents rating eight decision-making factors (benefits, harms, and neutral factors) as important by condition, patient characteristics, and LCS completion. Results Overall, the most important factor was personal risk of lung cancer and the least important factor was health risks from LCS. The reported importance varied by patient characteristics, including smoking status, health status, and education level. Overall, the potential harms of LCS were reported less important than the benefits or the neutral decision-making factors. Exposure to Direct LCS Invitation (with decision aid) increased Veterans’ attention to specific decision-making factors; compared to Usual Care respondents, a larger proportion of Direct LCS Invitation respondents rated the chance of false-positive results, LCS knowledge, LCS convenience, and anxiety as important. Those completing LCS considered screening harms less important, with the exception of incidental findings. Conclusion Decision tools influence Veterans’ perceptions about LCS decision-making factors. As the factors important to LCS decision making vary by patient characteristics, targeted materials for specific subgroups may be warranted. Attention should be paid to how LCS incidental findings are communicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-44
Number of pages7
JournalLung Cancer
Volume104
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

Keywords

  • Attitudes
  • Decision making
  • Early detection of cancer
  • Lung neoplasms

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