Effect of Patient Navigation on Completion of Lung Cancer Screening in Vulnerable Populations

Sheena Bhalla, Vijaya Natchimuthu, Jessica L. Lee, Urooj Wahid, Hong Zhu, Noel O. Santini, Travis Browning, Heidi A. Hamann, David H. Johnson, Hsienchang Chiu, Simon J. Craddock Lee, David E. Gerber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Although low-dose, CT–based lung cancer screening (LCS) can decrease lung cancer mortality in high-risk individuals, the process may be complex and pose challenges to patients, particularly those from minority underinsured and uninsured populations. We conducted a randomized controlled trial of telephone-based navigation for LCS within an integrated, urban, safety-net health care system. Patients and Methods: Patients eligible for LCS were randomized (1:1) to usual care with or without navigation at Parkland Health in Dallas, Texas. The primary endpoint was completion of the first 3 consecutive steps in a patient’s LCS process. We explored differences in completion of LCS steps between navigation and usual care groups, controlling for patient characteristics using the chi-square test. Results: Patients (N5447) were randomized to either navigation (n5225) or usual care (n5222). Mean patient age was 62 years, 46% were female, and 69% were racial/ethnic minorities. There was no difference in completion of the first 3 steps of the LCS algorithm between arms (12% vs 9%, respectively; P 5.30). For ordered LCS steps, completion rates were higher among patients who received navigation (86% vs 79%; P 5.03). The primary reason for step noncompletion was lack of order placement. Conclusions: In this study, lack of order placement was a key reason for incomplete LCS steps. When orders were placed, patients who received navigation had higher rates of completion. Clinical team education and enhanced electronic health record processes to simplify order placement, coupled with patient navigation, may improve LCS in safety-net health care systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-157
Number of pages7
JournalJNCCN Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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