DOI: 10.3390/curroncol30090586 ISSN:

Addressing Inequity in Spatial Access to Lung Cancer Screening

Jonathan Simkin, Edwin Khoo, Maryam Darvishian, Janette Sam, Parveen Bhatti, Stephen Lam, Ryan R. Woods

Background: The successful implementation of an equitable lung cancer screening program requires consideration of factors that influence accessibility to screening services. Methods: Using lung cancer cases in British Columbia (BC), Canada, as a proxy for a screen-eligible population, spatial access to 36 screening sites was examined using geospatial mapping and vehicle travel time from residential postal code at diagnosis to the nearest site. The impact of urbanization and Statistics Canada’s Canadian Index of Multiple Deprivation were examined. Results: Median travel time to the nearest screening site was 11.7 min (interquartile range 6.2–23.2 min). Urbanization was significantly associated with shorter drive time (p < 0.001). Ninety-nine percent of patients with ≥60 min drive times lived in rural areas. Drive times were associated with sex, ethnocultural composition, situational vulnerability, economic dependency, and residential instability. For example, the percentage of cases with drive times ≥60 min among the least deprived situational vulnerability group was 4.7% versus 44.4% in the most deprived group. Conclusions: Populations at risk in rural and remote regions may face more challenges accessing screening services due to increased travel times. Drive times increased with increasing sociodemographic and economic deprivations highlighting groups that may require support to ensure equitable access to lung cancer screening.

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