Developing a complex intervention to reduce time to presentation with symptoms of lung cancer

Sarah Mary Smith, Peter Murchie, Graham Stuart Devereux, Marie Johnston, Amanda Jane Lee, Macleod Una, Marianne C. Nicolson, Rachael Powell, Lewis Duthie Ritchie, Sally Wyke, Neil Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background

Lung cancer is the commonest cause of cancer in Scotland and is usually advanced at diagnosis. Median time between symptom onset and consultation is 14 weeks, so an intervention to prompt earlier presentation could support earlier diagnosis and enable curative treatment in more cases.

Aim

To develop and optimise an intervention to reduce the time between onset and first consultation with symptoms that might indicate lung cancer.

Design and setting

Iterative development of complex healthcare intervention according to the MRC Framework conducted in Northeast Scotland.

Method

The study produced a complex intervention to promote early presentation of lung cancer symptoms. An expert multidisciplinary group developed the first draft of the intervention based on theory and existing evidence. This was refined following focus groups with health professionals and high-risk patients.

Results

First draft intervention components included: information communicated persuasively, demonstrations of early consultation and its benefits, behaviour change techniques, and involvement of spouses/partners. Focus groups identified patient engagement, achieving behavioural change, and conflict at the patient-general practice interface as challenges and measures were incorporated to tackle these. Final intervention delivery included a detailed self-help manual and extended consultation with a trained research nurse at which specific action plans were devised.

Conclusion

The study has developed an intervention that appeals to patients and health professionals and has theoretical potential for benefit. Now it requires evaluation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e605-e615
Number of pages11
JournalThe British Journal of General Practice
Volume62
Issue number602
Early online date28 Aug 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2012

Keywords

  • early diagnosis
  • health services research
  • lung cancer
  • primary health care

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