Guidelines for the Evaluation of Pulmonary Nodules Detected Incidentally or by Screening: A Survey of Radiologist Awareness, Agreement, and Adherence From the Watch the Spot Trial

Michael K. Gould, Danielle E. Altman, Beth Creekmur, Lihong Qi, Evan de Bie, Sara Golden, Celia P. Kaplan, Karen Kelly, Diana L. Miglioretti, Richard A. Mularski, Visanee V. Musigdilok, Rebecca Smith-Bindman, Jennifer P. Steltz, Renda Soylemez Wiener, Denise R. Aberle, Debra S. Dyer, Anil Vachani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine radiologists’ beliefs about existing guidelines for pulmonary nodule evaluation. Methods: A self-administered survey was developed to ascertain awareness of, agreement with, and adherence to published guidelines, including those from the Fleischner Society and the Lung CT Screening Reporting and Data System (Lung-RADS™). Surveys were distributed to 514 radiologists at 13 health care systems that are participating in a large, pragmatic trial of pulmonary nodule evaluation. Prespecified comparisons were made among groups defined by type of health system, years of experience, reader volume, and study arm. Results: The response rate was 26.3%. Respondents were most familiar with guidelines from Fleischner (94%) and Lung-RADS (71%). For both incidental and screening-detected nodules, self-reported adherence to preferred guidelines was very high (97% and 94%, respectively), and most respondents believed that the benefits of adherence outweigh the harms (81% and 74%, respectively). Underlying evidence was thought to be high in quality by 68% of respondents for screening-detected nodules and 41% for incidental nodules. Approximately 70% of respondents believed that the frequency of recommended follow-up was “just right” for both guidelines. Radiologists who practice in nonintegrated health care systems were more likely to believe that the evidence was high in quality (79.5% versus 57.1%) and that the benefits of adherence outweigh the harms (85.1% versus 67.5%). Low-volume readers had lower awareness and self-reported adherence than higher volume readers. Conclusions: Radiologists reported high levels of familiarity and agreement with and adherence to guidelines for pulmonary nodule evaluation, but many overestimated the quality of evidence in support of the recommendations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)545-553
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Keywords

  • adherence
  • clinical practice guidelines
  • Pulmonary nodule
  • radiology practice
  • survey methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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