Racial Differences in Smoking-related Disease Risk Perceptions Among Adults Completing Lung Cancer Screening: Follow-up Results from the ACRIN/NLST Ancillary Study.
- Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital & Harvard Medical School, 100 Cambridge Street, 15th floor, Boston, MA, 02114, USA. email@example.com.
- Department of Epidemiology, Brown University School of Public Health, Providence, RI, USA.
- Center for Statistical Sciences, Brown University School of Public Health, Providence, RI, USA.
- Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
- Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital & Harvard Medical School, 100 Cambridge Street, 15th floor, Boston, MA, 02114, USA.
- Abramsom Cancer Center, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Previous work suggests that, compared to white adults, black adults have lower perceived risk for smoking-related diseases (SRDs), which may influence cessation behavior and health outcomes; however, racial differences in SRD risk perceptions among high-risk patients (i.e., a group that exhibits elevated risk for SRDs) following lung screening remain unknown. This paper thus examined differences in risk perceptions for lung cancer and other SRDs among black and white National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) participants. We administered a 10-item measure of perceived lifetime risk of lung cancer and other SRD (Smoking Risk Perceptions Scale; SRPS) to NLST participants at 1 year following lung screening to (1) establish the internal consistency of the SRPS for both black and white participants, (2) compare smoking-related disease risk perceptions between black and white participants, and (3) identify predictors of risk perceptions for black and white participants using multivariable linear regression models. We determined the SRPS items loaded onto two factors (personal and comparative risks; Cronbach's alpha = 0.93 and 0.95 for 1743 white and 194 black participants, respectively), thus demonstrating high internal consistency for both black and white adults. Compared to white participants, black adults demonstrated lower SRD risk perceptions (SRPS range = 10-50, mean difference = 2.55, SE = 0.50, p < 0.001), even after adjusting for smoking status and sociodemographics. Younger age, female gender, higher education, white race, and current smoking status were independently associated with high risk perceptions. Sociodemographic factors associated with lower risk perceptions resemble factors related to continued smoking. Findings suggest current and former black smokers are at risk of having lower risk perceptions for lung cancer and SRDs than white adults following lung cancer screening; these differences may explain observed racial differences in cessation outcomes. Although similar factors influence black and white adults' beliefs, risk perceptions may differentially impact smoking behavior among these groups. Behavior change models that guide tobacco treatment approaches, particularly for high-risk black smokers, should consider the influence of cultural factors on risk perceptions and cessation efforts.