systematic review

Translational Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 392-401

First online:

A systematic review of eHealth cancer prevention and control interventions: new technology, same methods and designs?

  • Michael A SanchezAffiliated withNational Cancer Institute Email author 
  • , Borsika A RabinAffiliated withCRN Cancer Communication Research Center, Kaiser Permanente Colorado
  • , Bridget GaglioAffiliated withMid-Atlantic Permanente Research Institute Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States
  • , Michelle HentonAffiliated withCRN Cancer Communication Research Center, Kaiser Permanente Colorado
  • , M Khair ElzarradAffiliated withNational Cancer InstituteFood and Drug Administration, Interagency Oncology Task Force (IOTF) Fellowship-Cancer Prevention Fellow, National Cancer Institute
  • , Peyton PurcellAffiliated withClinical Research Directorate/CMRP, SAIC-Frederick, Inc., National Laboratory for Cancer Research
  • , Russell E GlasgowAffiliated withNational Cancer Institute

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There has been a recent surge of eHealth programs in cancer and other content areas, but few reviews have focused on the methodologies and designs employed in these studies. We conducted a systematic review of studies on eHealth interventions on cancer prevention and control published between 2001 and 2010 applying the Pragmatic Explanatory Continuum Indicator Summary (PRECIS) criteria and external validity components from the Reach Effectiveness Adoption Implementation Maintenance (RE-AIM) framework. We identified 113 studies that focused on cancer prevention and control of eHealth interventions. Most studies fell midway along the explanatory/pragmatic trial continuum, but few reported on various practical feasibility criteria for translation. Despite vast interest in cancer eHealth and the applied nature of this field, few studies considered key external validity issues. There is a need for use of alternative pragmatic study designs and transparent reporting of external validity components to produce more rapid and generalizable results.


eHealth Pragmatic trials Systematic review Design PRECIS External validity RE-AIM framework