Study title

Engaging high risk, harder to reach groups in lung cancer screening and prevention.

Post Graduate Research Student
Type of study

Intervention design

Who is the study sponsor?

Cardiff University


There is currently a gap in knowledge of the psychosocial determinants of motivation to stop smoking in older, deprived smokers. Lung Health Check pilots are currently being run across England through the NHS with the possibility of a national lung screening programme being rolled in the UK. However, while smoking cessation is clearly an effective preventive intervention there is little evidence on the design and optimization of the smoking cessation interventions and support used in the screening setting. Older, deprived smokers are a hard-to-reach population and will likely form part of the lung screening eligible population. Therefore, further understanding of this demographic will help in developing interventions that reach and prompt smoking cessation among this population. Findings show that smoking cessation interventions may need to be adapted to reach and suit the psychosocial needs of older, deprived smokers. An intervention that can target this demographic has the ability to engage smoking cessation in those that may not be highly motivated to quit but still remain at high risk of lung cancer.

Public / patient involvement  

A research partner, who is an ex-smoker and is embedded within a deprived community, was recruited to the study. The partner is involved in inputting at key research milestones, such as topic guide development and helping with recruitment of the target population (older smokers from low socioeconomic backgrounds).

How could this research potentially benefit patients? 

The research will build the evidence base for CT lung cancer screening in the UK, providing critical evidence for the implementation of lung screening/prevention interventions to reduce inequalities and improve lung cancer survival outcomes. 

In addition, the research will provide generalisable knowledge regarding effective methods of engaging high risk, harder to reach groups that can be translated to other types of cancer and other screening contexts.

Does the study involve commercial partnership activity?


Does the study involve a methodological innovation?

The use of Facebook to recruit a hard-to-reach population through targeted advertisements for a cross-sectional population based survey.


Cardiff University School of Medicine PhD Scholarship scheme      

Total grant value

£ 75,000

Start date 


End date 


Further info (e.g. related web link)  

To follow

Outputs generated (Reports / Publications / Impact)

Smith P, Poole R, Mann M, Nelson A, Moore G, Brain K. Systematic review of behavioural smoking cessation interventions for older smokers from deprived backgrounds. BMJ Open. (2019) 2;9(11):e032727.