To assess the inequalities in adherence to breast and cervical cancer screening according to educational level.
A systematic review was carried out between 2000 and 2013 by querying an electronic database using specific keywords. Studies published in English reporting an estimation of the association between level of education and adherence to breast and/or cervical cancer screening were included in the study. Two different meta-analyses were carried out for adherence to breast and cervical cancer screening, respectively: women with the highest level of education and women with the lowest level of education were compared. The level of heterogeneity was investigated and subgroup analyses were carried out.
Of 1231 identified articles, 10 cross-sectional studies were included in the analysis. The meta-analyses showed that women with the highest level of education were more likely to have both screenings with an overall OR=1.61 (95% CI 1.36-1.91; I2=71%) for mammography and OR=1.96 (95% CI 1.79-2.16; I2=0%) for Pap test, respectively. Stratified meta-analysis for breast cancer screening included only studies that reported guidelines with target age of population ≥50years and showed a reduction in the level of heterogeneity and an increase of 36% in the adherence (95% CI 1.19-1.55; I2=0%).
This study confirms and reinforces evidence of inequalities in breast and cervical cancer screening adherence according to educational level.
- Breast cancer
- Cancer prevention
- Cervical cancer
- Pap test