Background: Lung cancer screening can reduce cancer mortality. Most implementation studies focus only on low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) and clinical attributes of screening and do not include preferences of potential participants. In this study we evaluated the perceived value of screening programs based on LDCT, breath analysis (BA), or blood biomarkers (BB) according to the perspective of the target population. Methods: A multi-criteria decision analysis framework was adopted. The weights of seven attributes of screening (sensitivity, specificity, radiation burden, duration of screening process, waiting time until results are communicated, location of screening, and mode of screening) were obtained from an earlier study that included a broad sample from the Netherlands. Performance data for the screening modalities was obtained from clinical trials and expert opinion. Parameter uncertainty about clinical performances was incorporated probabilistically, while heterogeneity in preferences was analyzed through subgroup analyses. Results: The mean overall values were 0.58 (CI: 0.57 to 0.59), 0.57 (CI: 0.56 to 0.59), and 0.44 (CI: 0.43 to 0.45) for BB, BA, and LDCT, respectively. Seventy-seven per cent of respondents preferred BB or BA. For most subgroups, the overall values were similar to those of the entire sample. BA had the highest value for respondents who would have been eligible for earlier screening trials. Discussion: BB and BA seem valuable to participants because they can be applied in a primary care setting. Although LDCT still seems preferable given its strong and positive evidence base, it is important to take non-clinical attributes into account to maximize attendance.
- multicriteria decision analysis
- public preferences
- subgroup analysis
- lung cancer screening