Increasing uptake to a lung cancer screening programme: building with communities through co-design

Lynsey Brown*, Frank Sullivan, Shaun Treweek, Anne Haddow, Rodney Mountain, Colin Selby, Mara van Beusekom

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in the UK. Low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening has been shown to identify lung cancer at an earlier stage. A risk stratified approach to LDCT referral is recommended. Those at higher risk of developing lung cancer (aged 55 + , smoker, deprived area) are least likely to participate in such a programme and, therefore, it is necessary to understand the barriers they face and to develop pathways for implementation in order to increase uptake.

Methods: A 2-phased co-design process was employed to identify ways to further increase opportunity for uptake of a lung cancer screening programme, using a risk indicator for LDCT referral, amongst people who could benefit most. Participants were members of the public at high risk from developing lung cancer and professionals who may provide or signpost to a future lung cancer screening programme. Phase 1: interviews and focus groups, considering barriers, facilitators and pathways for provision. Phase 2: interactive offline booklet and online surveys with professionals. Qualitative data was analysed thematically, while descriptive statistics were conducted for quantitative data.

Results: In total, ten barriers and eight facilitators to uptake of a lung cancer screening programme using a biomarker blood test for LDCT referral were identified. An additional four barriers and four facilitators to provision of such a programme were identified. These covered wider themes of acceptability, awareness, reminders and endorsement, convenience and accessibility. Various pathway options were evidenced, with choice being a key facilitator for uptake. There was a preference (19/23) for the provision of home test kits but 7 of the 19 would like an option for assistance, e.g. nurse, pharmacist or friend. TV was the preferred means of communicating about the programme and fear was the most dominant barrier perceived by members of the public.

Conclusion: Co-design has provided a fuller understanding of the barriers, facilitators and pathways for the provision of a future lung cancer screening programme, with a focus on the potential of biomarker blood tests for the identification of at-risk individuals. It has also identified possible solutions and future developments to enhance uptake, e.g. Embedding the service in communities, Effective communication, Overcoming barriers with options. Continuing the process to develop these solutions in a collaborative way helps to encourage the personalised approach to delivery that is likely to improve uptake amongst groups that could benefit most.
Original languageEnglish
Article number815
JournalBMC Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2022


  • Cancer screening
  • Lung cancer


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