Perceptions of Lung Cancer Risk and Beliefs in Screening Accuracy of Spiral Computed Tomography among High-Risk Lung Cancer Family Members

Pamela S. Sinicrope, Kari G. Rabe, Tabetha A. Brockman, Christi A. Patten, Wesley O. Petersen, Joshua Slusser, Ping Yang, Stephen J. Swensen, Eric S. Edell, Mariza de Andrade, Gloria M. Petersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Rationale and Objectives: Spiral computed tomography (SCT) is being evaluated as a screening tool for lung cancer. Our objective was to describe the effect of participation in SCT screening on participants' risk perceptions, worry, and expectations regarding the accuracy of the screening result. Materials and Methods: We surveyed 60 individuals with lung cancer family history who were participating in an SCT study for the primary purpose of improving genetic linkage analysis at baseline, and then 1 and 6 months post-SCT. Results: Of the 60 participants, 40 received normal results, 19 received non-negative results requiring follow-up, and 1 was diagnosed with lung cancer. At baseline, participants reported high levels of perceived lung cancer risk (64%), were concerned about developing lung cancer (94%), and the majority (84%) were not OK with receiving a non-negative SCT result when they really didn't have cancer. At 1 month post-SCT, those with a non-negative screen (n = 19) had lowered their expectations of test accuracy regarding non-negative results (54%) and reported increased levels in worry/concern (100%) and perceived risk (75%), but these effects diminished over time and returned almost to baseline levels at 6 months. Conclusions: Persons at very high empiric risk for lung cancer expect their SCT screening test to be accurate and present with high levels of lung cancer risk perception and worry/concern overall. Our findings suggest a need for risk counseling and discussion on the limitations of screening tests to accurately detect lung cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1012-1025
Number of pages14
JournalAcademic radiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Lung cancer
  • Psychosocial oncology
  • Screening
  • Spiral computed tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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