A literature review to understand health literacy in men with prostate cancer on active surveillance

Katharina Beyer*, Sebastiaan Remmers, Mieke Van Hemelrijck, Monique J. Roobol, Lionne D.F. Venderbos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

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Background and Objective:
Active surveillance (AS) has been established as an important treatment option for patients with localised prostate cancer (PCa). Current evidence suggests that health literacy is an important facilitator or barrier to choosing and adhering to AS. We aim to understand how the level of health literacy has an impact on choosing and adhering to AS for PCa patients.

We performed a narrative literature review in accordance with the Narrative Review guidelines through the MEDLINE online database via PubMed using two different search strategies to identify the relevant literature. We looked at literature until August 2022. A narrative synthesis was performed to identify if there is any evidence on how studies report health literacy as an outcome in the AS population and if there are any interventions targeting health literacy.

Key Content and Findings:
We identified 18 studies which looked at health literacy in the PCa context. Health literacy was measured in the context of comprehension of information of patients across PCa stages, decision making across PCa stages and quality of life (QoL) across PCa stages. Lower health literacy had a negative impact on the identified themes. Nine of the identified studies used validated health literacy measures. Interventions targeting health literacy have been used to improve health literacy with a positive impact across the patient journey.

Health literacy plays an important role in enabling men to take an active part in their treatment journey. In this review, we presented how health literacy is measured and which interventions targeting health literacy are implemented across PCa. These examples of interventions targeting health literacy should be studied further and translated into the AS setting to improve treatment decision making and adherence to AS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)779-789
Number of pages11
JournalTranslational Andrology and Urology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2023

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© 2023 Translational Andrology and Urology. All rights reserved.


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