Low implementation of colorectal cancer screening in ethnic minorities is the main reason for racial and ethnic disparities in colorectal cancer morbidity and mortality. Peer support is widely used for promoting health care in ethnic minorities. However, whether it improves their acceptance to undergo the screening remains controversial.
We performed a meta-analysis of the currently available studies to further explore its effectiveness.
This meta-analysis was undertaken using PubMed, Embase, Scopus, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and PsycINFO for randomized controlled trials.
We included studies that compared peer support interventions among ethnic minorities versus other interventions to promote uptake of colorectal cancer screening.
Thirteen studies comprising 8090 participants met the eligibility criteria. Peer support intervention can increase colorectal cancer screening implementation and raise awareness and intention to undergo the screening in ethnic minorities more significantly than fecal occult blood test outreach, print, and usual care. Subgroup analysis showed that peer support intervention achieved great results in Asian Americans and intervention of peer counseling.
The results of subgroup analysis had substantial heterogeneity, which may decrease the precision of our estimates.
Peer support can significantly improve the awareness about and the intention for receiving colorectal cancer screening in ethnic minorities and is an ideal choice for promoting the screening among ethnic minorities, particularly in a diverse community. Peer support intervention is recommended to promote the implementation of screening in Asian Americans. Peer counseling is worth promoting; however, church-based peer counseling programs require enhanced management to maintain their fidelity.