To measure Australian population preferences for lung cancer screening and to explore whether these preferences are related to respondent characteristics and lung cancer risk.
An online ranking task was administered to a sample of 521 Australians between the ages of 50 and 80 with a history of cigarette smoking. Choice sets contained 2 alternative lungs screens and an opt-out, and respondents were asked to rank the 3 options. Both conditional logit and mixed logit analyses were conducted exploring both the forced choice between the 2 screens and identifying the types of respondent most likely to opt out of any screening. For this, respondent 6-year lung cancer risk was estimated and used as a covariate.
Respondents valued tests that involved breath or blood tests in addition to computerized tomography (CT), locations that were close to home, receiving results quickly, and minimizing radiation from the CT scan. Willingness to pay differed between relatively higher and lower risk individuals; higher risk individuals placed greater emphasis on convenience, result timeliness, and radiation. Respondent characteristics that predicted opting out of any screening included being male, fewer years of smoking, and not having a previous cancer diagnosis. Lung cancer risk did not influence the likelihood of opting out.
Uptake of lung cancer screening is likely to be changeable if different modalities of screening are provided, with effects likely differing across population subgroups.