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National Survey of Lung Cancer Screening Practices in Veterans Health Administration Facilities.
Núñez ER, Slatore CG, Tanner NT, Melzer AC, Crothers KA, Lewis JA, Fabbrini AE, Brown JK, Wiener RS. National Survey of Lung Cancer Screening Practices in Veterans Health Administration Facilities. American journal of preventive medicine. 2023 Nov 1; 65(5):901-905.
Lung cancer screening can save lives through the early detection of lung cancer, and professional societies recommend key lung cancer screening program components to ensure high-quality screening. Yet, little is known about the key components that comprise the various screening program models in routine clinical settings. The objective was to compare the utilization of these key components across centralized, hybrid, and decentralized lung cancer screening programs.
The survey was designed to identify current structures and processes of lung cancer screening programs. It was administered electronically to Veterans Health Administration facilities nationally (N = 122) between August and December 2021. Results were analyzed between March and August 2022 and stratified by self-identified lung cancer screening program type, and we tested the hypothesis that centralized screening programs would be more likely to have implemented practices that support lung cancer screening, followed by hybrid and decentralized programs, using the Cochran-Armitage trend test.
Overall, 69 (56.6%) facilities completed the survey, and respondents were lung cancer screening coordinators (39.1%), pulmonologists (33.3%), and oncologists (10.1%). Facilities most frequently self-identified as having a centralized (37.7%) program model, followed by identifying as having hybrid (30.4%) and decentralized (20.3%) programs. There was varying implementation of practices to support lung cancer screening, with hybrid and decentralized programs less likely to have lung cancer screening registries, lung cancer screening steering committees, or dedicated lung cancer screening coordinators.
Although there is overlap between the components of various lung cancer screening program types, centralized programs more frequently implemented practices before the initial screening to support lung cancer screening. This work provides a path for future investigations to identify which lung cancer screening practices are effective to improve lung cancer screening outcomes, which could help inform implementation in settings with limited resources.