To identify and characterize the interventions that aimed to improve cancer treatment and follow‐up care in socially disadvantaged groups. To summarize the state‐of‐the‐art for clinicians and researchers.
We conducted a systematic review following PRISMA guidelines. Eligible studies were randomized controlled trials and quasi‐experimental studies with a control group (usual care or enhanced usual care) conducted in OECD member countries and published until 2016.
Thirty‐one interventions were identified, the majority of which were conducted in the United States in patients with breast cancer. Most interventions aimed to decrease social inequalities based on ethnicity/race and/or socioeconomic level, with fewer interventions targeting inequalities based on geographical area. The most frequently assessed outcomes were quality of life (n=20) and psychosocial factors (n=20), followed by treatment adherence or satisfaction (n=12,), knowledge (n=11), pain management (n=10), and lifestyle habits (n=3).
The impact of interventions designed to improve cancer treatment and follow‐up care in socially disadvantages groups is multifactorial. Multicomponent intervention approaches and cultural adaptations are common and their effectiveness should be evaluated in the populations of interest. More interventions are needed from outside the US and in patients with cancers other than breast cancer, targeting gender or geographical inequalities, and addressing key outcomes such as treatment adherence or symptom management.