School of Nursing


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Cynthia Goodrich


lung cancer, screening, smoking, USPSTF, low-dose computed tomography, prevention




The Lung Cancer Research Foundation has stated that lung cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. In 2022, 236,740 individuals were diagnosed with lung cancer, and 130,190 American lives are lost annually from lung cancer. Smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer and is responsible for approximately 80% of deaths related to lung cancer. Because of the high mortality rates from lung cancer, the American Cancer Society recommends the use of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) screening tool. Individuals who meet the criteria defined by the USPSTF qualify for yearly low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scans. The use of this screening tool allows providers to identify lung cancer in early stages without any cost to the patient. Despite the many benefits of this screening tool, the research suggests that it remains vastly underused. Increased awareness of these lung cancer screenings along with enhanced patient and provider education must be provided to improve overall screening rates in the clinical setting. This scholarly project was an evidence-based practice project that utilized a quasi-experimental approach to collect and analyze data regarding the utilization of the 2021 USPSTF lung cancer screenings. This project took place in a small rural primary care center located in the southeast part of the United States. The Iowa Model was used as the conceptual framework throughout the process. It was determined that increased patient and provider awareness and education on the USPSTF lung cancer screenings will result in more referrals for LDCT scans in individuals ages 50–80 who qualify. This scholarly project holds many implications for the future, including future policy development, increased lung cancer screening awareness in the community, and future expansion of the current 2021 USPSTF lung cancer screening criteria.

Available for download on Wednesday, July 03, 2024

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