Motivation is not enough: A qualitative study of lung cancer screening uptake in Australia to inform future implementation

Publication Name



Introduction Participation in lung cancer screening (LCS) trials and real-world programs is low, with many people at high-risk for lung cancer opting out of baseline screening after registering interest. We aimed to identify the potential drivers of participation in LCS in the Australian setting, to inform future implementation. Methods Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with individuals at high-risk of lung cancer who were eligible for screening and who had either participated ('screeners') or declined to participate ('decliners') in the International Lung Screening Trial from two Australian sites. Interview guide development was informed by the Precaution Adoption Process Model. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed using the COM-B model of behaviour to explore capability, opportunity and motivation related to screening behaviour. Results Thirty-nine participants were interviewed (25 screeners; 14 decliners). Motivation to participate in screening was high in both groups driven by the lived experience of lung cancer and a belief that screening is valuable, however decliners unlike their screening counterparts reported low self-efficacy. Decliners in our study reported challenges in capability including ability to attend and in knowledge and understanding. Decliners also reported challenges related to physical and social opportunity, in particular location as a barrier and lack of family support to attend screening. Conclusion Our findings suggest that motivation alone may not be sufficient to change behaviour related to screening participation, unless capability and opportunity are also considered. Focusing strategies on barriers related to capability and opportunity such as online/telephone support, mobile screening programs and financial assistance for screeners may better enhance screening participation. Providing funding for clinicians to support individuals in decisionmaking and belief in self-efficacy may foster motivation. Targeting interventions that connect eligible individuals with the LCS program will be crucial for successful implementation.

Open Access Status

This publication may be available as open access




9 September

Article Number



Link to publisher version (DOI)