Public preferences for lung cancer screening policies

Henk Broekhuizen, Catharina G. M. Groothuis-Oudshoorn, Rozemarijn Vliegenthart, Harry J.M. Groen, Maarten J. IJzerman

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Background: Because early detection of lung cancer can substantially improve survival, there is increasing attention for lung cancer screening.
Objectives: To estimate public preferences for lung cancer screening and to identify subgroups in preferences.
Methods: Seven important attributes were selected using the literature, interviews, and a panel session. Preferences were elicited using a swing weighting questionnaire. The resulting attribute weights indicate the relative importance of swings from the worst to the best level between attributes. Hierarchical clustering was used to identify subgroups with different attribute weights.
Results: One thousand thirty-four respondents from a representative Dutch panel aged between 40 and 80 years were included. The identified attributes were location of screening (weight = 0.18 ± 0.16), mode of screening (weight = 0.17 ± 0.14), sensitivity (weight = 0.16 ± 0.13) and specificity (weight = 0.13 ± 0.12) of the screening modality, waiting time until results (weight = 0.13 ± 0.12), radiation burden (weight = 0.13 ± 0.12), and duration of screening procedure (weight = 0.10 ± 0.09). Most respondents preferred breath analysis (45%) to giving blood samples (31%) or going through a scanner (24%) as screening modality; 59% preferred screening at the general practitioner’s office instead of at the hospital. There was a significant difference in education between the five identified preference subgroups (P < 0.01).
Conclusions: There is considerable variation in how people value attributes of lung cancer screening. Different screening policies and implementation strategies may be appropriate for particular preference subgroups. Our results indicate that people prefer breath analysis and that they are more likely to attend screening modalities that can be used at a primary care facility.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)961-968
JournalValue in health
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017


  • cluster analysis
  • lung cancer screening
  • multi-attribute utility theory
  • public preferences
  • 22/4 OA procedure


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