Objectives: To determine the psychological response (thoughts, perceptions and affect) to a diagnosis of pulmonary nodules following a novel antibody blood test and computed tomography (CT) scans within a UK population.
Materials and methods: This study was nested within a randomised controlled trial of a blood test (Early CDT®-Lung test), followed by a chest x-ray and serial CT-scanning of those with a positive blood test for early detection of lung cancer (ECLS Study). Trial participants with a positive Early CDT®-Lung test were invited to participate (n = 338) and those agreeing completed questionnaires assessing psychological outcomes at 1, 3 and 6 months following trial recruitment. Responses of individuals with pulmonary nodules on their first CT scan were compared to those without (classified as normal CT) at 3 and 6 months follow-up using random effects regression models to account for multiple observations per participant, with loge transformation of data where modelling assumptions were not met.
Results: There were no statistically significant differences between the nodule and normal CT groups in affect, lung cancer worry, health anxiety, illness perceptions, lung cancer risk perception or intrusive thoughts at 3 or 6 months post-recruitment. The nodule group had statistically significantly fewer avoidance symptoms compared to the normal CT group at 3 months (impact of events scale avoidance (IES-A) difference between means −1.99, 95%CI −4.18, 0.21) than at 6 months (IES-A difference between means 0.88, 95%CI −1.32, 3.08; p-value for change over time = 0.003) with similar findings using loge transformed data.
Conclusion: A diagnosis of pulmonary nodules following an Early CDT®-Lung test and CT scan did not appear to result in adverse psychological responses compared to those with a normal CT scan.
- Lung cancer screening
- Psychological impact
- Pulmonary nodules