Table 4

Summary table of study and intervention characteristics associated with effectiveness of interventions aimed at reducing patient delay

Study detailsTotal (N)Significant reduction in patient delayNo significant reduction in patient delay
Study design
 RCTs/Cluster RCT725
 Controlled before and after321
 Uncontrolled before and after/ITS261511
 Post-test only211
 Case–control study100
Theoretical underpinning
Intervention mode of delivery
 Population-level, mass media301713
 Individual-level, face-to-face413
 Individual-level, direct mailing321
 Both, mass media + direct mailing202
Intervention intensity
 Campaigns ≤12 months1587
 Campaigns >12 months844
 Confirmed diagnosis1587
 Suspected diagnosis241212
Year of publication
 In/before 200018108
 After 2000211011
Measurement of delay
 Symptom onset to hospital arrival241212
 Symptom onset to first seeking help514
 Not reported532
Clinical context
 Breast cancer202
 Chest pain101
Overall study quality based on total score
 Randomised studies (total quality score range 6–18; good–poor quality)
 Scored 6–9523
 Scored 10–14202
 Scored 15–18000
 Non-randomised studies (total quality score range 4–12; good–poor quality)
 Scored 4–5101
 Scored 6–820137
 Scored 9–121156
  • ACS, acute coronary syndrome; ITS, interrupted time series; MI, myocardial infarction; RCTs, randomised controlled trials.