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Lung Cancer Screening Uncertainty among Patients Undergoing LDCT

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Objectives: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death, yet lung screening remains underutilized. Lung cancer screening uncertainty (LCSU), including referral clarity and the perceived accuracy of screening, may hinder utilization and represent an unmet psychosocial need. This study sought to identify correlates of LCSU among lung screening patients. Methods: Current and former smokers (N = 169) completed questionnaires assessing LCSU, sociodemographic variables, objective and subjective numeracy, stress, and anxiety, as part of a cross-sectional study of lung screening patients at an academic hospital. Results: Patients (52% current smok- ers) reported high clarity about the reason for their lung screening referral. Less clarity was as- sociated with lower education, not receiving Medicare, and greater stress and anxiety. Patients perceived lung screening to be moderately accurate, and levels were inversely related to objective numeracy. Subjective numeracy was higher among former versus current smokers (OR = 2.5), yet was unrelated to LCSU variables. Conclusions: Several sociodemographic, numeracy, and emotional factors were associated with greater LCSU. With multiple policy and clinical guidelines purporting the uptake of annual lung screening, it is important to identify patients with LCSU and tailor shared decision-making to clarify their uncertainties.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, Boston, MA, USA 2: Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston, MAMassachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston, MA, USA 3: Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston, MA, USA 4: Harvard Medical School/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Division of General Medicine and Primary Care, Boston, MA, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2018

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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