Determinants Associated With Longitudinal Adherence to Annual Lung Cancer Screening: A Retrospective Analysis of Claims Data

J Am Coll Radiol. 2021 Aug;18(8):1084-1094. doi: 10.1016/j.jacr.2021.03.003. Epub 2021 Mar 30.


Objective: Lung cancer screening (LCS) efficacy is highly dependent on adherence to annual screening, but little is known about real-world adherence determinants. We used insurance claims data to examine associations between LCS annual adherence and demographic, comorbidity, health care usage, and geographic factors.

Materials and methods: Insurance claims data for all individuals with an LCS low-dose CT scan were obtained from the Colorado All Payer Claims Dataset. Adherence was defined as a second claim for a screening CT 10 to 18 months after the index claim. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to define the relationship between annual adherence and age, gender, insurance type, residence location, outpatient health care usage, and comorbidity burden.

Results: After exclusions, the final data set consisted of 9,056 records with 3,072 adherent, 3,570 nonadherent, and 2,414 censored (unclassifiable) individuals. Less adherence was associated with ages 55 to 59 (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.80, 99% confidence interval [CI] = 0.67-0.94), 60 to 64 (HR = 0.83, 99% CI = 0.71-0.97), and 75 to 79 (HR = 0.79, 99% CI = 0.65-0.97); rural residence (HR = 0.56, 99% CI = 0.43-0.73); Medicare fee-for-service (HR = 0.45, 99% CI = 0.39-0.51), and Medicaid (HR = 0.50, 99% CI = 0.40-0.62). A significant interaction between outpatient health care usage and comorbidity was also observed. Increased outpatient usage was associated with increased adherence and was most pronounced for individuals without comorbidities.

Conclusions: This population-based description of LCS adherence determinants provides insight into populations that might benefit from specific interventions targeted toward improving adherence and maximizing LCS benefit. Quantifying population-based adherence rates and understanding factors associated with annual adherence are critical to improving screening adherence and reducing lung cancer death.

Keywords: Adherence determinants; cancer screening; lung cancer; patient adherence.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Early Detection of Cancer*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States / epidemiology