Closing the gaps in cancer screening with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis populations: A narrative literature review

Peter Hutchinson, Pam Tobin, Alice Muirhead, Nicole Robinson


The objective of this review is to identify cancer screening rates amongst First Nations, Inuit, and Métis to inform cancer screening practices by identifying facilitators and barriers from interventions specific to Indigenous peoples. The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer along with First Nation, Inuit, Métis stakeholders recognise the need to improve cancer screening rates among the Indigenous peoples of Canada (Beben & Muirhead, 2016).  And, together, developed the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Action Plan on Cancer Control which included four strategic areas of focus:

  • Community-based health human resource skills and capacity, and community awareness
  • Culturally responsive resources and services
  • Access to programs and services in remote and rural communities
  • Patient identification systems (Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, 2011).

This narrative literature review identifies several areas in information management and cancer screening that need attention to effectively improve cancer screening participation rates and associated health outcomes in First Nation, Inuit, and Métis populations.  Cancer screening program development needs to be inclusive of those receiving the screening; barriers and facilitators to screening are cancer-specific and provide valuable information for improving cancer screening.  Information is available to markedly improve cancer screening uptake within First Nation, Inuit, and Métis people. 


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