Home Family Practice Many PCPs Discuss Low-Dose CT Screening With Patients

Many PCPs Discuss Low-Dose CT Screening With Patients

But more than half report making one or no screening recommendations in past year

WEDNESDAY, June 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Many family physicians discuss low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening for lung cancer with patients at high risk, although referrals remain low, according to a study published online June 13 in Cancer.

Jennifer L. Ersek, M.S.P.H., from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, and colleagues examined the knowledge of, attitudes toward, and use of LDCT screening using a 32-item questionnaire, which was distributed to members of the South Carolina Academy of Family Physicians in 2015. Data were included from 101 respondents.

The researchers found that most respondents had incorrect knowledge about the organizations that recommend screening. Many of the physicians recommended chest X-ray for lung cancer screening. Ninety-eight percent of physicians felt that LDCT increased the likelihood of detecting disease at an early stage, and seventy-five percent felt that the benefits outweighed the harms. Concerns included unnecessary procedures, stress/anxiety, and exposure to radiation (88, 52, and 50 percent, respectively). Seventy-six percent of physicians reported discussing the benefits/risks of screening with their patients; in the past year, more than half reported making one or no screening recommendations.

“There are gaps in physician knowledge about screening guidelines and reimbursement, and this indicates a need for further educational outreach,” the authors write. “The development of decision aids may facilitate shared decision-making discussions about screening, and targeted interventions may improve knowledge gaps.”

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