Nurse’s Roles in Colorectal Cancer Prevention: A Narrative Review

Narges Hashemi, Masoud Bahrami, Elham Tabesh, Paul Arbon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of this paper is to investigate the different roles of nurses as members of healthcare teams at the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of colorectal cancer prevention. The research team conducted a narrative review of studies involving the role of nurses at different levels of colorectal cancer prevention, which included a variety of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-method studies. We searched PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, Cochrane Reviews, Magiran, the Scientific Information Database (SID), Noormags, and the Islamic Science Citation (ISC) databases from ab initio until 2021. A total of 117 studies were reviewed. Nurses’ roles were classified into three levels of prevention. At the primary level, the most important role related to educating people to prevent cancer and reduce risk factors. At the secondary level, the roles consisted of genetic counseling, stool testing, sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy, biopsy and screening test follow-ups, and chemotherapy intervention, while at the tertiary level, their roles were made up of pre-and post-operative care to prevent further complications, rehabilitation, and palliative care. Nurses at various levels of prevention care also act as educators, coordinators, performers of screening tests, follow-up, and provision of palliative and end-of-life care. If these roles are not fulfilled at some levels of colorectal cancer, it is generally due to the lack of knowledge and competence of nurses or the lack of instruction and legal support for them. Nurses need sufficient clinical knowledge and experience to perform these roles at all levels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)759-782
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Prevention
Issue number6
Early online date24 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Colorectal cancer
  • Nurse
  • Prevention
  • Role


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