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Cancer Epidemiol. 2016 Oct;44:22-39. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2016.07.009. Epub 2016 Jul 25.

Effectiveness of patient-targeted interventions to promote cancer screening among ethnic minorities: A systematic review.

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Department of Nursing, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain; Health Promotion and Biomedical Research Foundation (FISABIO), Valencia, Spain. Electronic address:
Department of Nursing, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain. Electronic address:
Andalusian School of Public Health, Granada, Spain; CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Spain; Instituto de Investigación Biosanitaria (IBS).Granada, Granada, Spain. Electronic address:



Cancer is a major public health problem due to its incidence, morbidity and mortality. A large proportion of cancer cases and deaths could be prevented through the implementation of cancer screening programmes. However, there are social inequalities in patient access to these programmes, especially in underserved communities and minority populations.


To identify, characterise and analyse the effectiveness of patient-targeted healthcare interventions to promote cancer screening programmes in ethnic minorities.


A comprehensive search of bibliographic databases was conducted. The results of our systematic review were reported in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines.


Seventeen articles were identified and included in the review. Sixteen of the seventeen studies were conducted in the United States and one was conducted in Israel. Fifteen of the seventeen interventions selected were effective in increasing cancer screening rates. Moreover, five of the seventeen studies found an improvement in cancer knowledge, awareness, self-efficacy, attitudes, intention and perceptions, and three studies found a positive change in health beliefs and barriers. The results show that culturally adapted interventions appear to increase the rate of participation in cancer screening. In addition, the effectiveness of the interventions seems to be related to the use of small media, one-on-one interactions, small group education sessions, reminder strategies, and strategies for reducing structural barriers and out-of-pocket costs.


Culturally adapted patient-targeted healthcare interventions can help to reduce racial or ethnic inequalities in access to cancer screening programmes. Further research is needed to develop interventions to promote adherence to cancer screening programmes with repeat testing and vigorous economic evaluation methodologies.


Cancer; Ethnic groups; Intervention studies; Mass screening

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