A total of 43% of patients experience elevated distress prior to a low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) lung cancer screening, according to research presented at CHEST 2015. Additionally, researchers from Stony Brook Cancer Center found that one-third of patients experience continued distress even after being told there was no sign of cancer following the screening. LDCT is recommend to screen patients with an increased risk of developing lung cancer.

The risk factors for increased post-screening distress included female gender, having a prior personal history of lung disease, and being a current smoker. Researchers determined that the findings support the need for distress monitoring and possible clinical intervention to support the well being of patients undergoing lung cancer screening, according to an American College of Chest Physicians news release.

Lead researcher April Plank states, “Elevated levels of distress may serve as barriers to care and negatively impact health-related quality of life among patients being screened for lung cancer. It is imperative that lung cancer screening programs take into consideration the psychological well being of patients–especially women, current smokers, and those with a history of lung disease, who appear to be at greater risk for psychological and emotional distress.”

Source: American College of Chest Physicians