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Primary care outreach and decision counseling for lung cancer screening.

INTRODUCTION: Lung cancer screening rates are very low despite a level B recommendation from the United States Preventive Services Task Force since 2013 and clear evidence that lung cancer screening reduces mortality. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services requires shared decision-making (SDM) for lung cancer screening reimbursement. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of an SDM intervention on lung cancer screening in primary care.

METHODS: The study design was a single-arm clinical trial design. The intervention included phone contact outside of a primary care visit and the use of the Decision Counseling Program ®, an online interactive decision aid focused on determining the factors which influence patients to screen or not screen, prioritizing those factors, and determining a decision preference score. The primary outcome was the completion of low-dose computed tomography scan (LDCT) 1 year after the SDM session compared in participants versus nonparticipants.

RESULTS: From six practices, there were 1359 potentially eligible patients in electronic medical record data, and 336 were reached to assess eligibility criteria. A total of 80 patients consented to be in the study, 64 completed a decision counseling session and 16 did not complete a session. Among the 64 people who agreed to have decision counseling, 45% had LDCT, higher than typically seen in routine clinical practice. Although not a comparable group, among the 16 people who declined decision counseling, none had LDCT.

CONCLUSIONS: Decision counseling is a promising intervention that might support SDM in the context of improving uptake of lung cancer screening in primary care. However, further, larger studies are needed.

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