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Comment & Response |

Real-World Evidence About Potential Psychosocial Harms of Lung Cancer Screening—Reply

Russell P. Harris, MD, MPH1; Stacey L. Sheridan, MD, MPH2; Carmen L. Lewis, MD, MPH3
[+] Author Affiliations
1Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
2Division of General Medicine and Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
3Division of General Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(8):1416-1417. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.1636.
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In Reply We thank Wiener and Slatore for their letter and for informing us of their excellent research to examine the psychological harms of detecting indeterminate pulmonary nodules. Although their studies do not deal with screen-detected nodules, we agree that their findings are relevant to similar nodules found on lung cancer screening. And, as we suspected, their findings are sobering. Clearly there are human costs to extended surveillance and prolonged uncertainty. As one of their patients stated so well: “the thing is not knowing.”1 This type of research needs to be conducted more widely, and for more screening situations, to help us better quantify the effects of screening on real people’s lives.

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August 1, 2014
Renda Soylemez Wiener, MD, MPH; Christopher G. Slatore, MD, MSc
1The Pulmonary Center, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts2Center for Healthcare Organization & Implementation Research, Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital, Bedford, Massachusetts
3Health Services Research & Development, Portland VA Medical Center, Portland, Oregon4Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland
JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(8):1416. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.1643.
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