Primary care providers’ views on a future lung cancer screening program

In Canada, the National Lung Screening Trial demonstrated that screening with low-dose
computed tomography significantly reduces mortality from lung cancer in high-risk individuals. This study aimed to describe the role and information needs of primary care providers (PCPs) in a future lung cancer screening program. PCPs were recruited from diverse health regions in Ontario, and different practice models including family health teams and community health centres. Focus groups found that  PCPs and
staff were generally positive about a potential lung cancer screening program but had variable views on their involvement. Most providers preferred that a new program be modelled on the positive features of an
existing breast cancer screening program. Informational needs included evidence of potential benefits and harms of screening. Lung cancer screening was viewed as a new opportunity to counsel patients about smoking cessation and an explicit link to existing cessation programs was considered essential. The results of this study show that the development of a future lung cancer screening program should consider the wide variability in the roles that PCPs preferred. As providers have significant information needs, learning materials and opportunities should be developed with them.

Read the full text