An integrative review of four databases was performed by an interprofessional research group. The following electronic databases were used: PubMed, Cinahl via EBsco Host search engine, ScienceDirect and Scopus. The searches for the different professional groups were made separately in October 2020. Keywords used in the searches by professional group were: nurse, breast cancer, competence, competency, skills or knowledge, biomedical laboratory scientist, biomedical technologist, medical laboratory scientist, medical laboratory technologist, clinical laboratory scientist, histotechnologist, competence, competency, skills or knowledge, radiotherapist, radiation therapist, therapy radiographer, therapeutic radiographer andradiographer, radiologist technologist, diagnostic radiographer, competence, competency, skills or knowledge, ‘nuclear medicine technologist’ AND ‘breast cancer’ AND ‘competence’. Furthermore, reference lists of the articles selected as final texts were reviewed as well as articles citing articles.
Original English language qualitative and quantitative peer reviewed studies with various research approaches were included. The studies had to describe competencies of nurses, biomedical laboratory scientists, radiation therapists and diagnostic radiographers including nuclear medicine technologists in the breast cancer therapeutic phase.
The reviewers evaluated the quality of the reporting in the studies independently, according to the modified version of the STROBE v4 checklist for cohort, case–control and cross-sectional studies (combined).  The data were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis.
A total of 3,267 titles were identified from the different databases with separate searches made by the professional groups of nurses, biomedical laboratory scientists, radiation therapists and diagnostic radiographers. Out of these, 736 were duplicates of different databases. Most titles were excluded because of the irrelevance in relation to research questions posed. This left 151 papers to be assessed at the abstract level. The majority (n=102) were on the subject of nurses’ competences. After reading the abstracts, almost a half (72/151) were rejected. The articles eligible for full-text level assessment (n=80) were also reviewed on behalf of their reference lists and citing articles from the original database. After the full-text reading, most of the articles (n=66) were omitted. At this stage all the articles regarding biomedical laboratory scientists’ and diagnostic radiographers’ competences in the breast cancer diagnostic stage were rejected, leaving seven articles considering radiotherapists’ competencies [5-11] and a further seven articles considering nurses’ competences [12-18] in the breast cancer diagnostic process. (Figure 2)