Occupational lung cancers are under-reported and under-compensated worldwide. We assessed systematic screening for occupational exposure to carcinogens combining a self-administered questionnaire and an occupational consultation to improve the detection of occupational lung cancers and their compensation. Social deprivation and the costs of this investigation were estimated. Patients with lung cancer received a self-administered questionnaire to collect their job history, potential exposure to carcinogens and deprivation. A physician assessed the questionnaire and recommended an occupational consultation if necessary. During the consultation, a physician assessed if the lung cancer was work-related and, if it was, delivered a medical certificate to claim for compensation. Over 18 months, 440 patients received the self-administered questionnaire: 234 returned a completed questionnaire and a consultation was required for 120 patients. Compensation was judged possible for 41 patients. Among the 35 medical certificates delivered, 19 patients received compensation. Nearly half the patients (46%) were assessed as socially deprived and these patients took significantly longer to return the questionnaire compared with those who were not deprived. The mean cost of the process was €62.65 per patient. Our results showed a systematic self-administered questionnaire can be used to identify patients potentially exposed to carcinogens and to improve compensation.
Keywords: cost analysis; lung cancer; occupational exposures; social deprivation; systematic self-administered questionnaire.