Low Rates of Patient-Reported Physician-Patient Discussion about Lung Cancer Screening among Current Smokers: Data from Health Information National Trends Survey

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2019 May;28(5):963-973. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-18-0629.


Background: Many professional societies published guidelines recommending lung cancer screening with low-dose CT scan. We examined the temporal trends in patient-reported physician-patient discussions about lung cancer screening, and aimed to determine the association of discussions of lung cancer screening with the smokers' attempt to quit and intent to quit.

Methods: Data from years 2012, 2014, and 2017 of the National Cancer Institute's Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) were combined to create a multiple-year analytic dataset. We calculated the association between samples' characteristics and the presence of discussion about lung cancer screening. Using logistic regression, we estimated the probability of smokers' attempt to quit and intent to quit.

Results: Among 9,443 subjects, the crude estimated rates of physician-patient discussion decreased from 6.7% in 2012, to 4.2% in 2014 and 4.3% in 2017. Across the age and smoking status groups, the current smokers ages 55 to 74 in 2012 (26.8%), and current smokers older than 74 years in 2014 (23.5%) and 2017 (22.1%) had the highest rates of discussion. The physician-patient discussion about lung cancer screening was not associated with patients' intent to quit or attempt to quit in a multivariable analysis.Conclusions: Efforts are needed to improve the physician-patient discussion about lung cancer screening among individuals across a spectrum of lung cancer risk.

Impact: Developing communication strategies for promoting beneficial lung cancer screening among lung cancer screening-eligible smokers and strategies for improving the quality of discussion on lung cancer screening integrating smoking cessation are needed to reduce the burden of lung cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Communication
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Early Detection of Cancer / psychology
  • Early Detection of Cancer / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Prognosis
  • Smokers / psychology*
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Young Adult