PURPOSE: The main objective of this systematic review was to identify whether mass and small media interventions improve knowledge and attitudes about cancer, cancer screening rates, and early detection of cancer in Asia.
METHODS: The review was conducted according to a predefined protocol. Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar were searched in September 2017, and data extraction and rating of methodologic study quality (according to Joanna Briggs Institute rating procedures) were performed independently by reviewers.
RESULTS: Twenty-two studies (reported across 24 papers) met the inclusion criteria. Most studies (n = 21) were conducted in high or upper-middle income countries; targeted breast (n = 11), cervical (n = 7), colorectal (n = 3), or oral (n = 2) cancer; and used small media either alone (n = 15) or in combination with mass media and other components (n = 5). Studies regarding cancer screening uptake were of medium to high quality and mainly reported positive outcomes for cervical cancer and mixed results for breast and colorectal cancer. The methodologic strength of research that investigated change in cancer-related knowledge and the cost effectiveness of interventions, respectively, were weak and inconclusive.
CONCLUSION: Evidence indicated that small media campaigns seemed to be effective in terms of increasing screening uptake in Asia, in particular cervical cancer screening. Because of the limited number of studies in Asia, it was not possible to be certain about the effectiveness of mass media in improving screening uptake and the effectiveness of campaigns in improving cancer-related knowledge.