Date of Award/Publication

8-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S. in Advanced Practice Nursing

First Supervisor

Tara Sacco

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the U.S. public’s attitude toward and knowledge of lung cancer screening per the U.S. Preventative Task Force’s (USPSTF) 2013 guideline. A questionnaire addressing cancer screening perception, lung cancer risk perception, and agreeability to lung cancer screening and surgical resection of detected lung cancer was adapted from Flynn, Peters, and Morgan (2013). The electronic questionnaire was posted to the primary investigator’s Facebook page and snowball sampling was employed. Of the 92 eligible adult respondents, 40% were current or former smokers and 3.3% were eligible for lung cancer screening. The majority of participants believed cancer screening to be effective in improving survival rates. Current and former smokers were more likely to believe they were at risk for lung cancer (x2=19.291; p=0.000). Current smokers were significantly less likely to agree to lung cancer screening if the test was only 90% accurate (x2=9.924; p=0.007) or to agree to surgical resection of detected lung cancer (x2=27.93; p=0.000). Only 12% of those who believed they were at risk for lung cancer had been told so by a healthcare professional. These results indicate a need for increased communication of lung cancer risk (whether low or high) between clinicians and patients. Further research is needed to determine the factors which preclude current smokers from participating in lung cancer screening and surgical intervention for lung cancer so that targeted education about screening can be developed for this population.

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