Interventions using mHealth strategies to improve screening rates of cervical cancer: A scoping review

Prev Med. 2020 Dec 29;143:106387. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2020.106387. Online ahead of print.


MHealth interventions are extensively used to inform and remind women about cervical cancer and their upcoming screening appointments. Our scoping review aims to examine the effectiveness these interventions targeted to increase the uptake of cervical cancer screening along with its barriers and facilitators. We searched 4 databases (PsycINFO. PUBMED, CINAHL, and MEDLINE) for studies that were published between January 1, 2009 and October 2019. References were further screened manually for additional papers. Studies were included in the review if they used interventions including phone calls, text messages and mobile applications as their primary strategy to contact women. We identified 12 unique studies that met the inclusion criteria; seven were international studies. Most studies sent multiple messages (informative and reminder) and/or made numerous phone calls (manual/automated) to inform participants about cervical cancer screening, their nearest screening clinic, and their upcoming appointments. Five studies documented a significant increase in the uptake of cervical cancer screenings during the follow-ups conducted within 12 months. Qualitative studies suggested participants prefer particular communication mediums, and they were concerned about privacy and confidentiality issues when text messages were sent with their health information. Findings suggest mHealth interventions may be an effective strategy to reach women for improving their cervical cancer uptake. Barriers including transportation cost, inaccessibility, and inability to come for walk-in appointments in the health clinics need to be addressed, beyond reminders, in mobile phone-based interventions to facilitate their presence in their next appointment.

PMID:33383069 | DOI:10.1016/j.ypmed.2020.106387