Introduction: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, but there are low screening rates across the country. While the prevalence of smoking in the LGBTQ population is disproportionately high, the LGBTQ community may have decreased access to screening, since they are reported to be less likely to have health insurance, more likely to receive inferior care or be denied care. The objective of this project was to better understand the knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes toward lung cancer screening in the LGBTQ community in Philadelphia in order to develop appropriate, community-focused educational materials to increase lung cancer screening in this population.
Methods: In-depth interviews were conducted with three key informants and one community member. Key informants were healthcare providers or community leaders with extensive experience working with the LGBTQ community. The community member was an individual who identifies as LGBTQ and fits the lung cancer screening eligibility criteria (age 55-80, 30 pack-year history, current/former smoker who has quit in the past 15 years). Interviewees were asked about their or the LGBTQ community’s knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about lung cancer and screening. Motivational factors, barriers to screening, suggested messengers of information, and potential education strategies were also discussed in the interviews. The qualitative data from interviews was analyzed using direct content analysis through NVIVO Pro 12.
Results: Preliminary data indicate that there is an overall lack of knowledge and awareness about lung cancer screening. Key informants cited fear and perceived cost or insurance issues as barriers, while the community member emphasized lack of time. Taking control of one’s health and the chance to improve longevity were identified as motivating factors. Additional interviews are pending.
Conclusion: There is a need for LGBTQ-centered materials to educate the community about lung cancer and screening. Information should be delivered by individuals or groups who are trusted by the community. Materials should address basic information about lung cancer, its risk factors, and the screening process, and should empower individuals to play an active role in their health and their care.
Recommended CitationDemarest, Kaitlin; Pham, MPH, Kristine; and Brawer, PhD, Rickie, "Perspectives on Lung Cancer Screening in the Philadelphia LGBTQ Community" (2020). Phase 1. Paper 41.