The Health Literacy Programs and Colorectal Cancer Prevention: A Systematic Review

Document Type : Systematic Review


1 Student Research Committee, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

2 Department of Health Education and Health Promotion, School of Health, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.


Background and Objective: Low health literacy has been associated with less performance of preventive behaviors, but its impact on colorectal cancer (CRC) prevention is unclear. The aim of this study was to assess outcomes of health literacy interventions across the CRC prevention. 

Materials and Methods: This review study was based on PRISMA checklist. Searches in Scopus, PUBMED/MEDLINE, Web of Science and google scholar between 2011-2023 were conducted. Studies were included if they reported health literacy interventional programs across CRC prevention and were written in English. 

Results: Our search yielded 284 records. After identifying duplicates, 12 articles were deleted. In the next step, the titles and abstracts of the remaining 272 articles were reviewed and evaluated, and 210 articles were excluded from the study due to the irrelevance of the title or abstract. In the next stage, after assessing full text of remaining articles, 51 articles were deleted due to the lack of eligibility. Finally, 11 articles were systematically reviewed. The time of publication in all these articles was between 2011 and 2021 and the research method of all of them was interventional. Screening was the most prevalent primary outcomes. Of all eleven studies, ten studies worked on screening and one study worked on prevention. Overall, the selected articles demonstrated positive outcomes for CRC prevention.

Conclusion: Health literacy programs could increase the rate of performing CRC prevention.


Acknowledgments: The authors thank the Student Research Committee of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences which supported this research.

Availability of data and materials: The data sets used and/or analysed during the current study was available from the corresponding author on reasonable request. 

Conflict of interest: There is no conflict of interests.

Consent for publication: Not applicable.

Ethical approval and consent to participate: The study was conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki. This article is excluded from research project with ethical code IR.MUMS.FHMPM.REC.1400.008 which was approved in Mashhad University of Medical Sciences.

Funding: This research was supported by Mashhad University of Medical Sciences.

Author contributions: All authors have their own responsibilities in this review manuscript. All authors read the final draft of the manuscript and confirmed it.


Open Access Policy: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. To view a copy of this licence, visit

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