Gender-specific differences in care-seeking behaviour among lung cancer patients: a systematic review

Rana, Rezwanul Hasan and Alam, Fariha and Alam, Khorshed ORCID: and Gow, Jeff (2020) Gender-specific differences in care-seeking behaviour among lung cancer patients: a systematic review. Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology, 146 (5). pp. 1169-1196. ISSN 0171-5216


Background: In the literature, men are often described as unwilling to use healthcare services, whereas women as frequent users. We conducted a systematic literature review to examine the gender differences in healthcare utilisation of lung cancer patients. Our aim was to synthesise evidence to assess whether men and women utilise cancer diagnosis and treatments differently.

Methods: The databases of PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, EBSCO Host, Ovid nursing, and Cochrane was systematically searched. We used pre-defined eligibility criteria to identify peer-reviewed published literature that reported healthcare use of lung cancer patients. Two reviewers independently screened the title, abstract, full texts and retrieved relevant data.

Results: A total of 42 studies met the eligibility criteria from 1356 potential studies. In these studies, the most commonly measured healthcare utilisation is surgery (n = 19), followed by chemotherapy (n = 13). All the studies were from developed countries and had a higher percentage of male participants. Substantial evidence of heterogeneity in the use of treatments by gender were found. In relation to diagnosis interval and stage of cancer diagnosis, it was found that women had longer diagnostic intervals. Nonetheless, women tend to get diagnosed at an earlier stage. Furthermore, women had a higher probability of using inpatient cancer-care services and surgical treatments. Conversely, men had greater risks of readmission after surgery and longer length of stay. Lastly, there were no significant gender differences in the likelihood of receiving chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Conclusion: This study synthesised evidence of disparities in the use of lung cancer treatments based on gender in developed countries, with no evidence available from least-developed and developing countries. Further studies are required to understand this gender-specific inequality and to design interventions to improve the survival rate of lung cancer patients.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Commerce (1 Jul 2013 - 17 Jan 2021)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions - Centre for Health Research (1 Apr 2020 -)
Date Deposited: 26 May 2020 23:50
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2020 05:27
Uncontrolled Keywords: gender difference; healthcare utilisation; lung cancer; emergency department presentation; systematic review
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
16 Studies in Human Society > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society > 169901 Gender Specific Studies
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110311 Medical Genetics (excl. Cancer Genetics)
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified
C Society > 92 Health > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920204 Evaluation of Health Outcomes
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