1. This study found there was a positive association between religious attendance and cancer screening utilization with no study revealing a negative relationship.
2. There was inconclusive evidence with respect to religious denomination as well as religiosity and cancer screening utilization.
Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)
Cancer remains one of the most important health problems in the world; however, there is currently an underuse of cancer screenings in various countries. Through the Andersen model of health care utilization, many factors have been identified in playing a role. However, there is uncertainty on the influence of religion on cancer screening. Therefore, the aim of the present systematic review was to explore the relationship between religion and cancer screening utilization and to determine if there is also a relationship with respect to religious denomination and religiosity.
Of 981 screened records, 27 were included from database inception to June 2020. Studies were included if they were observational studies that reported the association between any kind of religious dimensions, based on Glock’s classification and cancer screening. Studies were excluded if they were non-observational and if they exclusively examined a specific sample (e.g. sects or ethnic minorities). The quality assessment was done using a checklist introduced by Stuhldreher et al. and further improved by Hols et al., as referenced in the manuscript.
Results of the analysis demonstrated that there was a positive association between religious attendance and cancer screening utilization with no study revealing a negative relationship. Furthermore, there was inconclusive evidence with respect to religious denomination as well as religiosity and cancer screening utilization. However, this study was limited by the heterogeneity between studies. Nonetheless, at the time of publication, this was the first systematic review that summarized the evidence pertaining to the influence of religion on the use of cancer screening.
Click to read the study in Risk Management and Healthcare Policy
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