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Table 3 Table of characteristics of included quantitative studies of health professionals’ perceptions of lung cancer

From: A systematic review of the impact of stigma and nihilism on lung cancer outcomes

Study Design (Level of evidence) Health professionals Study factors/Patient groups Outcomes Comments and quality
Jennens 2004, Australia Cross sectional All Australian general, pulmonary and palliative care physicians, medical and radiation oncologists and thoracic surgeons (N = 1325) who saw at least one patient a year with metastatic lung cancer Pessimism regarding the use of platinum based chemotherapy for stage IV NSCLC Referrals for chemotherapy for stage IV NSCLC Referrals to chemotherapy is included as part of the measure of pessimism
Mailed self report survey (Level IV) N = 544 Study quality
Response rate = 51% Subject selection2
Group comparabilityNA
Participation rate0
Schroen 2000, USA Cross sectional Members of American College of Chest Physicians self reportedly practising either pulmonary medicine or thoracic surgery and treating adult lung cancer patients Nihilism – underestimation of survival rate for resected stage I NSCLC Beliefs re survival benefit for chemotherapy for various stages of NSCLC and radiotherapy for resected disease Considered gender, treatment volumes, date of medical training completion
Mailed self report survey (Level IV) Randomly selected Thoracic surgeons and pulmonologists see patients early in their diagnosis and refer patients to medical and radiation oncologists
Pulmonologists N = 594 (response rate = 50%) Study quality
Thoracic surgeons N = 416 (response rate = 52%) Subject selection0
Group comparability0
Participation rate0
Wassenaar 2007, Wisconsin USA Cross sectional All 1132 members of the American college of Physicians- Internal Medicine or the American College of Family Physicians in Wisconsin Lung (NSCLC) vs breast cancer Referrals to clinical oncologist Physicians answering lung cancer questionnaire saw average 4.12 lung cancer patients/year.
Mailed self report survey (Level IV) Randomly allocated scenarios with lung or breast cancer patients, smokers or non smokers at stage 1B, M1 and end of life Beliefs re survival benefits of chemotherapy for various cancer stages Anticipated response rate at least 30%
N = 672 Sample size chosen to detect differences of at least 25% in the response patterns between disease groups with 80% power for a two-sided significance level of 5%
Response rate = 59.4% Study quality
Subject selection1
Group comparability2
Participation rate0
  1. NSCLC = Non small cell lung cancer: NA = Not applicable (only within individual correlations were reported so comparability of groups was not assessed).