, Volume 190, Issue 6, pp 621–628 | Cite as

Overwhelming Support Among Urban Irish COPD Patients for Lung Cancer Screening by Low-Dose CT Scan

  • M. Pallin
  • S. Walsh
  • M. F. O’Driscoll
  • C. Murray
  • A. Cahalane
  • L. Brown
  • M. Carter
  • P. Mitchell
  • T. J. McDonnell
  • M. W. Butler



The National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) has renewed interest in low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening for lung cancer. Smokers may be less receptive toward LDCT screening, however, compared with never smokers. The views of patients with COPD, a particularly high-risk group, toward LDCT screening for lung cancer are currently unknown. We therefore evaluated attitudes of patients with COPD toward LDCT screening for lung cancer.


Interviews with Irish patients with COPD who satisfied NLST eligibility criteria were conducted in clinical settings using a questionnaire based on that of a comparable study of U.S. current/former smokers of unspecified disease status.


A total of 142 subjects had a mean age of 65.09 ± 6.07 years (46.4 % were male, mean pack years 54.5 ± 33.3, mean FEV1 59.16 ± 23 %); 97.8 % had an identifiable usual source of healthcare. Compared with data from a U.S. cohort of current/former smokers, a higher proportion of Irish COPD smokers: believed that they were at risk for lung cancer (63.6 vs. 15.7 %); believed that early detection improved chances of survival (90 vs. 51.2 %); were willing to consider LDCT screening (97.9 vs. 78.6 %); were willing to pay for a LDCT scan (68.6 vs. 36.2 %); and were willing to accept treatment recommendations arising (95.7 vs. 56.2 %; p < 0.0001 for all comparisons).


Urban Irish smokers with COPD who would be eligible for LDCT screening are almost universally in favor of being screened and treated for screening-detected lung cancers. This readily accessible high-risk population should be actively targeted in future screening programs.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease Lung cancer Screening Low-dose computed tomography Attitudes 



This study was conducted in St Vincent’s University Hospital and St Michael’s Hospital Dun Laoghaire in Dublin, Ireland. The authors thank the patients who took the time to complete the survey.

Conflict of interest

The authors report that there are no financial or nonfinancial conflicts of interest related to this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Pallin
    • 1
  • S. Walsh
    • 1
  • M. F. O’Driscoll
    • 2
  • C. Murray
    • 1
  • A. Cahalane
    • 1
  • L. Brown
    • 1
  • M. Carter
    • 1
  • P. Mitchell
    • 1
  • T. J. McDonnell
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. W. Butler
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Respiratory MedicineSt Vincent’s University HospitalDublinIreland
  2. 2.Department of Respiratory MedicineSt Michael’s HospitalDun LaoghaireIreland
  3. 3.University College DublinDublinIreland
  4. 4.UCD School of Medicine & Medical Science, Education & Research CentreSt. Vincent’s University HospitalDublin 4Ireland

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