Strategies Promoting the Participation in Prevention and Rehabilitation Services: An Overview of Reviews

  • Corinna Dressler Department of Health Sciences University of York, York, United Kingdom
Keywords: review, health promotion, screening, acces to health care


Objectives: Preventive health care, secondary prevention and rehabilitation can avert early mortality and reduce the burden of disease, yet cancer-screening programs experience problems with uptake, and participation in self-management programs is rarely discussed..  Since interventions designed to promote uptake of health services are often based on similar ideas, a cross-disciplinary review of interventions is appropriate and resource-effective.

Methods: This paper reviews the literature on interventions encouraging uptake of 1) chronic disease self-management program, 2) cancer screening and 3) service access to inform the development of interventions promoting uptake of rehabilitation and preventive services.  EMBASE, the Cochrane Library and DARE were searched in 2011. Included were reviews published in English since 2000 reporting any intervention promoting service uptake in adults with an outcome of service use or access.  Excluded were workplace interventions and health care professionals. Data was extracted and summarized qualitatively. Results were synthesized into an overview of all types of interventions found.

Results: Systematic searches on 1) self-management programs; 2) screening and 3) service access yield 2488, 522 and 325 results respectively. Twenty-four reviews were included. While most of the evidence stems from the cancer screening literature little information from the service access literature and on interventions that encourage self-management program participation became apparent. Personalized, tailored and direct communication appears to be an effective method for promoting enrollment. Access-enhancing and direct contact interventions seem promising for underrepresented groups.

Conclusion: The similarity of intervention designs across health issues support future cross-disciplinary investigations to inform strategy development.

Author Biography

Corinna Dressler, Department of Health Sciences University of York, York, United Kingdom
Ms Corinna Dressler, B.Sc., M.Sc.(cum laude)
doctoral candidate


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