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Objective: Nurses play a crucial role in cancer control. Prior reviews presented the effectiveness of nursing interventions such as tobacco cessation counseling and cervical cancer screening but did not focus on low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This scoping review addresses a gap in the literature by describing the roles and activities of nurses in cancer prevention and early detection in LMICs.

Methods: Following Arksey and O'Malley's scoping review framework, we searched seven databases using subject headings and keywords from 1990 to January 2021 and updated in April 2022. The reference lists of relevant studies were also searched. Two reviewers independently screened the relevance of studies through Rayyan, assessed full text articles, and extracted data using a Google Form. Conflicts were resolved by a third reviewer.

Results: A total of 180 studies were included, representing all six World Health Organization regions and 48 LMICs. The largest number of studies were from the African region (n = 72), the Americas (n = 49), and South-East Asia region (n = 29). The main nursing roles featured were patient/community education (n = 113), history taking and cancer risk assessment (n = 63), performing screening exams (n = 136), care coordination (n = 57), and training other healthcare professionals (n = 9).

Conclusions: This scoping review provides a comprehensive picture of nurses’ role in cancer prevention and early detection in LMICs, across all six World Health Organization regions. Additional cancer workforce data sources at the country level are needed to fully understand the activities of nurses in cancer prevention. Future research is also needed to measure the impact of nursing educational and other interventions in both primary and secondary cancer prevention.

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Asia-Pacific Journal of Oncology Nursing



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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.