The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force currently recommends low-dose computed tomography to screen for those at risk of lung cancer, the leading cause of all cancer deaths in the United States. While this screening has been proven to be effective at detecting lung cancer and reducing mortality, some populations, such as those living in rural areas, may encounter unique barriers to screening. This rapid review of the literature utilized a systematic approach to identify and summarize current barriers to lung cancer screening in rural populations. Using a precise search strategy, 354 articles from PubMed and Scopus were identified and screened via the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) process. Upon completion, 8 articles were included in the review. The majority of the studies focused on geographic access as a barrier, while one study focused on cognitive barriers to lung cancer screening. While geographic barriers focused on distance to the screening site as a barrier, cognitive barriers focused on knowledge, attitudes, awareness, the healthcare system (e.g., physician maldistribution, scheduling conflicts, etc.), and cost. Additionally, while these studies did identify barriers, there was little variation amongst studies, and no studies included at risk individuals from rural areas. These findings indicate that more research needs to be conducted in identifying barriers to lung cancer screening by including the perspective of at-risk rural residents. Once barriers among rural populations are known, community-based interventions to reduce those barriers will lead to increases in lung cancer screening in vulnerable rural populations.
Schwenk, Alysa, "Barriers to Lung Cancer Screening in Rural Populations" (2022). Master of Public Health Capstone Presentations. Presentation 458.