Among survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma, a decision aid (DA) tool may help individuals to understand, and make decisions regarding, lung cancer screening, according to research published in BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making.
General Medical Council guidelines in the United Kingdom require that individuals are given relevant information about the implications of undergoing disease screening. DAs, which are evidence-based mechanisms, have previously been shown to aid in patient decision-making regarding disease screening, and overall increase the accuracy of the perceptions of risks related to screening.
Survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma are, furthermore, at an increased risk of second malignancies because, in part, of the carcinogenic effects of anticancer treatments. The incidence of lung cancer, in particular, in this population is 6.4% over a 30-year period. For this study, researchers evaluated whether a DA helps to improve understanding of the implications of lung cancer screening among survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma.
The study consisted of an online survey (38 survivors), a first focus group (6 survivors), and a second focus group (5 patients); the focus groups also included 11 practitioners. Among survivors who participated in the online survey, 30 were female sex, the median age was 44 years, and 25 were never-smokers.
Analysis of results from the online survey portion of the study showed that the DA reduced decisional conflict and improved knowledge of the implications of lung cancer screening. Qualitative data collected from the focus groups showed that the language, format, and length of the DA were acceptable to survivors and practitioners, and that the DA was both balanced and presented individuals with a reasonable choice.
Survivors also noted a desire to consult their clinical team about screening; practitioners felt the DA was sufficiently informative. Both practitioners and survivors noted that an offer of screening would reduce anxiety about the risks of lung cancer.
“Informed by the results of this study, the decision aid prototype tested here has been developed further by the steering group to produce a decision aid document which will be used in a future feasibility study of lung cancer screening in [patients with Hodgkin lymphoma,]” the authors wrote. “In this future study, the impact of the decision aid on knowledge, decisional conflict and preparedness for decision making will be tested in a larger sample.”
Broadbent R, Seale T, Armitage CJ, Linton K. The development of a decision aid to support Hodgkin lymphoma survivors considering lung cancer screening. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak. 2022;22(1):29. doi:10.1186/s12911-022-01768-y