Interventions to Reduce Healthcare Disparities in Cancer Screening Among Minority Adults: a Systematic Review

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Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

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Background: Racial minority populations face an increased burden relative to cancer interventions. Compared with Caucasians, the cancer screening rate is substantially lower among African American, Asian American, Latinx American, and American Indian/Alaska Native populations. Barriers such as low health literacy, lack of health insurance, and miscommunication between patients and providers have been identified as important factors that result in low screening rates among minority adults. This study was designed to identify interventions targeting racial minority adults 40 years of age or older that were effective in increasing cancer screening uptake rates. Methods: A systematic review of articles published in and after January 2009 was conducted using PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines. Twenty-six published studies of cancer screening intervention tested with minority adults were identified through the searches of CINAHL, Global Health, PsycINFO, PubMed, and Scopus databases. Results: Thirteen (50%) of the studies utilized lay community health workers to increase cancer awareness and knowledge and to encourage screening. These methods took place over the telephone, at community education sessions, or within the context of personalized patient navigation support. The intervention programs utilized culturally relevant materials as well as spoken and written information in the targeted population’s native language. Various intervention designs resulted in statistically significant increases in cancer screening adherence. However, we found no intervention that consistently elevated cancer screening rates across all racial/ethnic minority adults. Conclusions: The finding suggests that highly segmented interventions are needed in order to improve cancer screening among various racial/ethnic minority adults.


Preventive health services; Health behavior; Population health; Ethnology


Medicine and Health Sciences | Public Health



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