Lesleigh Kowalski, Nancy E. Krusen; Lung Cancer Screening Policy in Alaska and Occupational Therapy. Am J Occup Ther 2021;75(3):7503090010. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2021.048231
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© 2021 American Occupational Therapy Association
Lung cancer claims more lives than any other cancer in the world and remains difficult to diagnose in the early stages. This article examines the current state of lung cancer detection and screening via low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) in Alaska and considers potential opportunities for occupational therapy practitioners in primary care settings. Medicare requires at least one documented shared decision-making encounter between provider and patient before LDCT lung cancer screening occurs. As a result of time constraints, documentation requirements, and the plethora of preventive health services they provide, primary care physicians often lack the time and training to conduct this essential service. This provides an opportunity for occupational therapy practitioners to perform these services as part of their practice and to play a role in this area as patient educators and prevention specialists in primary care settings.
What This Article Adds: This article explores the national health crisis of lung cancer and describes how occupational therapists can participate in providing care in primary care settings.
In the amount of time allotted for docs to see a patient (for routine medical follow-up and/or preventive services), there are a myriad of recommended preventive services he/she is encouraged to provide, as well as complex ongoing medical treatment to optimize. Under such limitations, the use of a relatively young screening paradigm may be deprioritized (versus other tasks that deserve to get done) during the visit. (p. 83)
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