Comparative effect of different patient education modalities on quality of life in breast cancer survivors: A systematic review and network meta-analysis

Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2023 Dec:67:102411. doi: 10.1016/j.ejon.2023.102411. Epub 2023 Sep 13.


Purpose: To assess the comparative effect of patient education modalities (online, telephonic, mixed, in-person meetings) on the improvement of quality-of-life in breast cancer survivors.

Methods: A search was conducted in different databases, being only included randomised controlled trials. The methodological quality and the risk of bias were assessed following the criteria of PEDro and Cochrane Rob-2 tools, respectively. The certainty of the evidence was judged using the GRADE tool. These evaluations were performed by two independent reviewers. When possible, data was pooled in a network meta-analysis (95% confidence interval [CI]).

Results: Fourteen studies were included in the qualitative synthesis (1632 participants) and 11 in the quantitative (1482 participants). Network comparisons revealed that mixed educational modality was the highest ranked intervention at short (MD = 0.62; 95% CI [-0.35, 1.6]) and long -term (MD = 1.1; 95% CI [-1.5, 3.8); the control condition was the last in both cases, with a good convergence of the model observed. However, comparisons did not show significant differences.

Conclusions: Health policies could benefit from mixed modalities of patient education as it is expected to generate socio-economical savings and promote patient self-management. Probably, online mixed modalities, i.e. virtual face to face meetings, could be a more up-to-date option that fit best to nowadays patients' lifestyle. However, the limitations of this review force us to interpret our results with caution.

Keywords: Breast cancer; Health education; Meta-analysis; Quality of life.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Cancer Survivors*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Network Meta-Analysis
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Quality of Life