The influence of health literacy on the timely diagnosis of symptomatic cancer: A systematic review

Health literacy plays a large role throughout a patients cancer journey, but it is unclear how it effects the pathway to diagnosis. This systematic review aimed to evaluate the influence of health literacy on a timely diagnosis of symptomatic cancer. Only three papers were identified addressing this issue, two qualitative and one quantitative. Due to the methodological weaknesses identified, the results are limited, however, the studies had a large variation in definition and assessment of health literacy. Future work should use the Aarhus Statement when assessing the influence of health literacy in the cancer diagnostic pathway. This systematic review highlights the important gap in the literature when looking at the role of health literacy in timely diagnosis of cancer.

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