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Eur Respir J. 2011 Jun;37(6):1466-73. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00035410. Epub 2010 Dec 9.

The impact of a lung cancer computed tomography screening result on smoking abstinence.

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Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, University Medical Centre Rotterdam, PO Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

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  • Eur Respir J. 2011 Aug;38(2):489-90.


Receiving a lung cancer computed tomography screening result might be a teachable moment for smoking cessation, but it might also unintentionally reassure smokers to continue smoking. The objective of the present study was to investigate whether test results were associated with smoking abstinence in the Dutch-Belgian Randomised Controlled Lung Cancer Screening Trial (NELSON trial). Two random samples of male smokers who had received either only negative test results (n=550) or one or more indeterminate test result (n=440) were sent a questionnaire 2 yrs after randomisation. Smokers with an indeterminate result reported more quit attempts (p=0.02), but the prolonged abstinence rate in smokers receiving a negative test (46 (8.9%) out of 519 subjects) was comparable with the abstinence rate in smokers with one or more indeterminate results (48 (11.5%) out of 419 subjects) (p=0.19). A statistically insignificant increase was found after one or more indeterminate test result (10.9 and 15.0%, respectively) compared with receiving only negative test results (8.9%) (p=0.26). In conclusion, the outcome of the screening test had no impact on future smoking abstinence in male smokers, although all results suggest more favourable implications after one or more follow-up recommendations. Screening test outcomes could be used as a teachable moment for smoking cessation.

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