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Núñez ER, Caverly TJ, Zhang S, Glickman ME, Qian SX, Boudreau JH, Miller DR, Slatore CG, Wiener RS. Factors Associated With Declining Lung Cancer Screening After Discussion With a Physician in a Cohort of US Veterans. JAMA Network Open. 2022 Aug 1; 5(8):e2227126.
IMPORTANCE: Lung cancer screening (LCS) is underused in the US, particularly in underserved populations, and little is known about factors associated with declining LCS. Guidelines call for shared decision-making when LCS is offered to ensure informed, patient-centered decisions. OBJECTIVE: To assess how frequently veterans decline LCS and examine factors associated with declining LCS. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This retrospective cohort study included LCS-eligible US veterans who were offered LCS between January 1, 2013, and February 1, 2021, by a physician at 1 of 30 Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities that routinely used electronic health record clinical reminders documenting LCS eligibility and veterans'' decisions to accept or decline LCS. Data were obtained from the Veterans Affairs (VA) Corporate Data Warehouse or Medicare claims files from the VA Information Resource Center. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The main outcome was documentation, in clinical reminders, that veterans declined LCS after a discussion with a physician. Logistic regression analyses with physicians and facilities as random effects were used to assess factors associated with declining LCS compared with agreeing to LCS. RESULTS: Of 43?257 LCS-eligible veterans who were offered LCS (mean [SD] age, 64.7 [5.8] years), 95.9% were male, 84.2% were White, and 37.1% lived in a rural zip code; 32.0% declined screening. Veterans were less likely to decline LCS if they were younger (age 55-59 years: odds ratio [OR], 0.69; 95% CI, 0.64-0.74; age 60-64 years: OR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.75-0.85), were Black (OR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.73-0.87), were Hispanic (OR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.49-0.78), did not have to make co-payments (OR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.85-0.99), or had more frequent VHA health care utilization (outpatient: OR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.67-0.72; emergency department: OR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.80-0.92). Veterans were more likely to decline LCS if they were older (age 70-74 years: OR, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.19-1.37; age 75-80 years: OR, 1.93; 95% CI, 1.73-2.17), lived farther from a VHA screening facility (OR, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.03-1.08), had spent more days in long-term care (OR, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.07-1.19), had a higher Elixhauser Comorbidity Index score (OR, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.03-1.05), or had specific cardiovascular or mental health conditions (congestive heart failure: OR, 1.25; 95% CI, 1.12-1.39; stroke: OR, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.01-1.28; schizophrenia: OR, 1.87; 95% CI, 1.60-2.19). The physician and facility offering LCS accounted for 19% and 36% of the variation in declining LCS, respectively. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this cohort study, older veterans with serious comorbidities were more likely to decline LCS and Black and Hispanic veterans were more likely to accept it. Variation in LCS decisions was accounted for more by the facility and physician offering LCS than by patient factors. These findings suggest that shared decision-making conversations in which patients play a central role in guiding care may enhance patient-centered care and address disparities in LCS.