Factors determining early adherence to a lung cancer screening protocol
Lung cancer screening using computed tomography (CT) is effective in detecting early stage disease. However, concerns regarding adherence have been raised. The current authors conducted a retrospective observational study of 641 asymptomatic smokers enrolled in a lung cancer screening programme between 2000 and 2003.
Adherent subjects were compared with nonadherent subjects with regard to lung function, sex, age, motivation for enrollment, smoking status, distance to the referral centre, family history of lung cancer, asbestos exposure, education, the presence and type of nodule(s) seen on initial CT, and exposure to a nursing intervention designed to improve adherence.
Overall, early adherence to the study protocol was 65%. Multivariate analysis confirmed the importance of sex, proximity to the referral centre, the presence of noncalcified nodules, and the nursing intervention as factors conditioning adherence to the study protocol. Patients encouraged to participate in the study were more adherent, as were former smokers. Sex interactions were observed in multivariate analysis. The nursing intervention was significant for females, while abnormal lung function improved male adherence.
Adherence to lung cancer screening is particularly good among females and subjects living near the referral centre. The present study suggests the need to develop new strategies, especially those targeting males and subjects with low risk perception, in order to improve adherence.
CITATION Eur Respir J. 2007 Sep;30(3):532-7