Review of American newspapers reveals positive coverage of lung cancer screening

AJR on a decade of lung cancer screening in American newspapers

According to an accepted manuscript published in ARRS’ own American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR), sentiment of U.S. newspaper articles covering lung cancer screening (LCS) from 2010 to 2022 was overall positive; however, certain key elements of LCS were infrequently mentioned.

“The findings highlight areas for potential improvement of LCS media coverage; radiologists have an opportunity to take a more active role in this coverage,” concluded first author Brent P. Little, MD, of Mayo Clinic Florida in Jacksonville.

Little et al. searched the ProQuest U.S. Newsstream database for news articles regarding LCS that were published from January 1, 2010—when National Lung Screening Trial results were published—to March 28, 2022. Their search included the following terms: lung cancer screening(s), lung screening(s), low dose screening(s), and LDCT. Results were reviewed to identify those articles mentioning LCS. After extracting article origination and characteristics, articles were then divided among nine independent readers to assess article sentiment regarding LCS, as well as additional content, using a standardized form.

Ultimately, among 859 U.S. newspaper articles pertaining to LCS from 2010 to 2022, 76% had a positive sentiment regarding LCS. Enrollment criteria, smoking cessation programs, need for annual CT, shared decision making, and cost issues were mentioned in 4% to 52% of articles. Moreover, a radiologist was interviewed or mentioned in 9%.

“Radiologists should recognize common deficiencies in newspaper coverage of LCS and take a more active role to optimize media coverage of this important imaging service,” the study authors concluded.

More information:
U.S. newspaper coverage of lung cancer screening from 2010 to 2022, American Journal of Roentgenology (2023). DOI: 10.2214/AJR.23.29066

Journal information:
American Journal of Roentgenology

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