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Patient characteristics associated with adherence to pulmonary nodule guidelines.

Iaccarino JM, Steiling K, Slatore CG, Drainoni ML, Wiener RS. Patient characteristics associated with adherence to pulmonary nodule guidelines. Respiratory medicine. 2020 Sep 1; 171:106075.

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BACKGROUND: While pulmonary nodule guidelines provide follow-up recommendations based on nodule size and malignancy risk, these are inconsistently followed in clinical practice. In this study, we sought to identify patient characteristics associated with guideline-concordant nodule follow-up. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of patients diagnosed with a pulmonary nodule between 2011 and 2014 at Boston Medical Center. Appropriate nodule follow-up evaluation was based upon the 2005 Fleischner Society Guidelines. In primary analysis, we compared patients with guideline-concordant follow-up to those with delayed or absent follow-up. In secondary analysis, we compared those with any follow-up to those without follow-up as well as the rate of guideline-concordant follow-up in patients seen by a pulmonologist. RESULTS: Of 3916 patients diagnosed with a pulmonary nodule, 1117 were included for analysis. Overall, 598 (53.5%) patients received guideline-concordant follow-up. Lower rates of guideline concordance were seen in patients of Hispanic ethnicity (OR 0.60, 95% CI 0.36-1.00), while higher rates were seen for nodules 7-8 mm (OR 1.55, 95% CI 1.02-2.35) and nodules > 8 mm (OR 1.49, 95% CI 1.01-2.20). Having a history of COPD (OR 1.75, 95% CI 1.26-2.43), and being seen by a pulmonologist (OR 1.97, 95% CI 1.51-2.58) were also associated with guideline concordance. Among patients seen by a pulmonologist, 62.2% received guideline-concordant follow-up. CONCLUSION: Overall rates of pulmonary nodule follow-up are low. Patient ethnicity, COPD history, nodule size and involvement of a pulmonologist may impact follow-up rates and are potential targets for implementation interventions to improve pulmonary nodule follow-up.

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