Mobile Technologies and Cervical Cancer Screening in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review.
PURPOSE: Cervical cancer screening is not well implemented in many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Mobile health (mHealth) refers to utilization of mobile technologies in health promotion and disease management. We aimed to qualitatively synthesize published articles reporting the impact of mHealth on cervical cancer screening-related health behaviors. METHODS: Three reviewers independently reviewed articles with the following criteria: the exposure or intervention of interest was mHealth, including messages or educational information sent via mobile telephone or e-mail; the comparison was people not using mHealth technology to receive screening-related information, and studies comparing multiple different mHealth interventional strategies were also eligible; the primary outcome was cervical cancer screening uptake, and secondary outcomes included awareness, intention, and knowledge of screening; appropriate research designs included randomized controlled trials and quasi-experimental or observational research; and the study was conducted in an LMIC. RESULTS: Of the 8 selected studies, 5 treated mobile telephone or message reminders as the exposure or intervention, and 3 compared the effects of different messages on screening uptake. The outcomes were diverse, including screening uptake (n = 4); health beliefs regarding the Papanicolaou (Pap) test (n = 1); knowledge of, attitude toward, and adherence to colpocytologic examination (n = 1); interest in receiving messages about Pap test results or appointment (n = 1); and return for Pap test reports (n = 1). CONCLUSION: Overall, our systematic review suggests that mobile technologies, particularly telephone reminders or messages, lead to increased Pap test uptake; additional work is needed to unequivocally verify whether mhealth interventions can improve knowledge regarding cervical cancer. Our study will inform mHealth-based interventions for cervical cancer screening promotion in LMICs.
Zhang, D; Advani, S; Waller, J; Cupertino, A-P; Hurtado-de-Mendoza, A; Chicaiza, A; Rohloff, PJ; Akinyemiju, TF; Gharzouzi, E; Huchko, MJ; Barnoya, J; Braithwaite, D
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