Primary care providers’ views on a future lung cancer screening program

Mary Ann O'Brien, Francis Sullivan, Diego Llovet, Lawrence Paszat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Background The National Lung Screening Trial demonstrated that screening with low-dose computed tomography significantly reduces mortality from lung cancer in high-risk individuals.
Objective To describe the role preferences and information needs of primary care providers (PCPs) in a future organized lung cancer screening program.
Methods We purposively sampled PCPs from diverse health regions of Ontario and from different practice models including family health teams and community health centres. We also recruited family physicians with a leadership role in cancer screening. We used focus groups and a nominal group process to identify informational priorities. Two analysts systematically applied a coding scheme to interview transcripts.
Results Four groups were held with 34 providers and administrative staff [28 (82%) female, 21 (62%) physicians, 7 (20%) other health professionals and 6 (18%) administrative staff]. PCPs and staff were generally positive about a potential lung cancer screening program but had variable views on their involvement. Informational needs included evidence of potential benefits and harms of screening. Most providers preferred that a new program be modelled on positive features of an existing breast cancer screening program. Lung cancer screening was viewed as a new opportunity to counsel patients about smoking cessation.
Conclusions The development of a future lung cancer screening program should consider the wide variability in the roles that PCPs preferred. An explicit link to existing smoking cessation programs was seen as essential. As providers had significant information needs, learning materials and opportunities should be developed with them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501–505
Number of pages5
JournalFamily Practice: the International Journal for Research in Primary Care
Issue number4
Early online date5 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


  • Multidisciplinary care
  • Primary care
  • Risk assessment
  • Screening
  • Smoking reduction
  • Smoking/tobacco use


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