Chan DNS, So WKW Effectiveness of motivational interviewing in enhancing cancer screening uptake amongst average-risk individuals: A systematic review. Int J Nurs Stud. 2020 Oct 2;113:103786. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2020.103786. (Systematic review)

BACKGROUND: Although cancer is a worldwide public health problem, it can be detected early and prevented through cancer screening. Recommendations for screening methods and screening intervals are currently available for several types of cancer. However, not all average-risk individuals are motivated to undergo cancer screening.

OBJECTIVES: To examine the effectiveness of motivational interviewing that targets average-risk individuals regarding their cancer screening intention and uptake and to provide recommendations for the content and format of motivational interviewing based on the existing evidence.

METHODS: A systematic literature search was performed using four databases and a manual search. A combination of keywords including 'motivational interviewing', 'cancer screening', 'screening intention' and 'screening uptake' were used to identify relevant articles. Only randomised controlled trials that examined the effects of motivational interviewing amongst average-risk individuals were included in the review. The Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool was used to appraise the methodological quality of the selected articles. The findings were summarised in narrative and tabular formats.

RESULTS: Six randomised controlled trials that used motivational interviewing to enhance cancer screening uptake or intention were included in the review. The findings show that motivational interviewing that used a face-to-face and telephone-based approach or were used together with a tailored or reminder letter enhanced the participants' uptake of breast and cervical cancer screening and their intention to undergo future cervical cancer screening. Mixed results were observed in the effectiveness of single-contact motivational interviewing on colorectal cancer screening.

CONCLUSIONS: The use of motivational interviewing has demonstrated improvements in the uptake of breast and cervical cancer screening. However, more research is warranted in view of the inconclusive findings noted for colorectal cancer screening. Further studies with more rigorous methods are needed to identify the most effective interventions and to test the feasibility and efficiency of the use of Internet-based information communication technology to deliver motivational interviewing.

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