The influence of health literacy on the timely diagnosis of symptomatic cancer: A systematic review.
Eur J Cancer Care (Engl)
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Humphrys, E., Burt, J., Rubin, G., Emery, J. D., & Walter, F. M. (2019). The influence of health literacy on the timely diagnosis of symptomatic cancer: A systematic review.. Eur J Cancer Care (Engl), 28 (1), e12920. https://doi.org/10.1111/ecc.12920
Low health literacy has been associated with poor cancer screening uptake, difficulty in making treatment choices and reduced quality of life following a cancer diagnosis, yet it is unclear whether and how health literacy influences the pathway to diagnosis for patients with cancer symptoms. This systematic review aimed to evaluate the influence of health literacy on the timely diagnosis of symptomatic cancer. Literature was searched between January 1990 and May 2017 using MEDLINE, Embase, Scopus, ASSIA, CINAHL and PsycINFO. Only three papers met the inclusion criteria. These reported two qualitative studies and one quantitative, with adult patients diagnosed with gastrointestinal (colon, rectum and pancreas), cervical and breast cancer. The definition and assessment of health literacy varied between the studies, as did the descriptions of the pathway to diagnosis. Due to the methodological weaknesses identified, the conclusions are limited; however, the studies did highlight important considerations in the definition and measurement of health literacy. Further research is required that clearly defines health literacy and follows the principles of the Aarhus Statement to assess the influence of health literacy on the pathway to cancer diagnosis. The protocol for this review was registered with PROSPERO (CRD42016048917).
Humans, Neoplasms, Qualitative Research, Delayed Diagnosis, Health Literacy
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) (via Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)) (unknown)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/ecc.12920
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/286188
Attribution 4.0 International
Licence URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/