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1.  Rationale and design of the research project of the South Florida Center for the Reduction of Cancer Health Disparities (SUCCESS): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2014;15(1):299.
Background
In the United States certain minority groups, such as racial/ethnic immigrant women, are less likely than non-Hispanic White women to be screened for cervical cancer. Barriers to such care include health insurance, cost, knowledge, attitudes, health literacy, and cultural norms and practices. Among the most promising approaches to increase screening in these groups are patient navigators that can link women to sources of appropriate care. Another recent promising approach is using human papilloma virus (HPV) self-sampling. In this manuscript, we describe our National Cancer Institute-sponsored study testing such approaches among immigrant minority women.
Design
The South Florida Center for the Reduction of Cancer Health Disparities (SUCCESS) is conducting a three-arm randomized trial among Hispanic, Haitian, and African American women in Miami-Dade County. Community health workers (CHW) based in each of three communities are recruiting 200 women at each site (600 total). Eligibility criteria include women aged 30–65 years who have not had a Pap smear test in the last 3 years. Prior to randomization, all women undergo a standardized structured interview. Women randomized to public health outreach, Group 1, receive culturally tailored educational materials. Women in Group 2 receive an individualized comprehensive cervical cancer CHW-led education session followed by patient navigation to obtain the Pap smear test at community-based facilities. Women in Group 3 have the option of navigation to a Pap smear test or performing HPV self-sampling. The primary outcome is self-report of completed screening through a Pap smear test or HPV self-sampling within 6 months after enrollment.
Discussion
SUCCESS is one of the first trials testing HPV self-sampling as a screening strategy among underserved minority women. If successful, HPV self-sampling may be an important option in community outreach programs aimed at reducing disparities in cervical cancer.
Trial registration
Clinical Trials.gov # NCT02121548, registered April 21, 2014.
doi:10.1186/1745-6215-15-299
PMCID: PMC4127186  PMID: 25056208
Cervical cancer; Community-based participatory research; Haitian; Health disparities; Hispanic; Human papilloma virus; Immigrant; Minority; Screening
2.  Overcoming Barriers to Cervical Cancer Screening Among Asian American Women 
Significant disparities in cervical cancer incidence and mortality exist among ethnic minority women, and in particular, among Asian American women. These disparities have been attributed primarily to differences in screening rates across ethnic/racial groups. Asian American women have one of the lowest rates of screening compared to other ethnic/racial groups. Yet Asian Americans, who comprise one of the fastest growing populations in the United States, have received the least attention in cancer control research. Studies suggest that various factors, including lack of knowledge, psychosocial and cultural beliefs, and access barriers, are associated with cervical cancer screening behaviors among Asian American women. Indeed, the few interventions that have been developed for Asian American women demonstrate that targeting these factors can yield significant increases in screening rates. It is important to note, however, that the effectiveness of educational interventions is often attenuated if access barriers are not adequately addressed. Hence, interventions that include key essential components, such as the use of community individuals as lay health workers, culturally-tailored and linguistically-appropriate educational materials, and navigation assistance to overcome access barriers, are more likely to be successful in enhancing screening rates. As the benefits of community-based cervical cancer prevention programs become more apparent, it will be essential to identify effective approaches for disseminating such programs more broadly. In conclusion, community-based cervical cancer screening programs have demonstrated promise in addressing existing cervical cancer disparities by increasing awareness and knowledge and promoting recommended screening behaviors. These findings will be instrumental in guiding future community-based programs to reduce cervical cancer health disparities among Asian American women.
PMCID: PMC3115728  PMID: 21687826
cervical cancer; screening; Asian Americans; disparities; cancer prevention; community-based; psychosocial beliefs; access barriers
3.  Cervical cancer screening and adherence to follow-up among Hispanic women study protocol: a randomized controlled trial to increase the uptake of cervical cancer screening in Hispanic women 
BMC Cancer  2012;12:170.
Background
In the US, Hispanic women have a higher incidence of, and mortality from, cervical cancer than non-Hispanic white women. The reason for this disparity may be attributable to both low rates of screening and poor adherence to recommended diagnostic follow-up after an abnormal Pap test. The 'Cervical Cancer Screening and Adherence to Follow-up Among Hispanic Women' study is a collaboration between a research institution and community partners made up of members from community based organizations, the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic and the Breast, Cervical, and Colon Health Program of the Yakima District . The study will assess the efficacy of two culturally-appropriate, tailored educational programs designed to increase cervical cancer screening among Hispanic women, based in the Yakima Valley, Washington, US.
Methods/design
A parallel randomized-controlled trial of 600 Hispanic women aged 21–64, who are non-compliant with Papanicolau (Pap) test screening guidelines. Participants will be randomized using block randomization to (1) a control arm (usual care); (2) a low-intensity information program, consisting of a Spanish-language video that educates women on the importance of cervical cancer screening; or (3) a high-intensity program consisting of the video plus a ‘promotora’ or lay-community health educator-led, home based intervention to encourage cervical cancer screening. Participants who attend cervical cancer screening, and receive a diagnosis of an abnormal Pap test will be assigned to a patient navigator who will provide support and information to promote adherence to follow-up tests, and any necessary surgery or treatment. Primary endpoint: Participants will be tracked via medical record review at community-based clinics, to identify women who have had a Pap test within 7 months of baseline assessment. Medical record reviewers will be blinded to randomization arm. Secondary endpoint: An evaluation of the patient navigator program as a method to improve adherence and reduce time to follow-up among participants who receive an abnormal Pap test result. An additional secondary endpoint is the cost-effectiveness of the two different intensity intervention programs.
Discussion
This culturally sensitive intervention aims to increase compliance and adherence to cervical screening in a Hispanic population. If effective, such interventions may reduce incidence of cervical cancer.
Trial registration
NCT01525433
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-12-170
PMCID: PMC3407514  PMID: 22559251
Hispanic women; Pap test; Cervical cancer screening; Cancer disparities
4.  Health Beliefs Associated with Cervical Cancer Screening Among Vietnamese Americans 
Journal of Women's Health  2013;22(3):276-288.
Abstract
Background
Vietnamese American women represent one of the ethnic subgroups at great risk for cervical cancer in the United States. The underutilization of cervical cancer screening and the vulnerability of Vietnamese American women to cervical cancer may be compounded by their health beliefs.
Objective
The objective of this study was to explore the associations between factors of the Health Belief Model (HBM) and cervical cancer screening among Vietnamese American women.
Methods
Vietnamese American women (n=1,450) were enrolled into the randomized controlled trial (RCT) study who were recruited from 30 Vietnamese community-based organizations located in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Participants completed baseline assessments of demographic and acculturation variables, health care access factors, and constructs of the HBM, as well as health behaviors in either English or Vietnamese.
Results
The rate of those who had ever undergone cervical cancer screening was 53% (769/1450) among the participants. After adjusting for sociodemographic variables, the significant associated factors from HBM included: believing themselves at risk and more likely than average women to get cervical cancer; believing that cervical cancer changes life; believing a Pap test is important for staying healthy, not understanding what is done during a Pap test, being scared to know having cervical cancer; taking a Pap test is embarrassing; not being available by doctors at convenient times; having too much time for a test; believing no need for a Pap test when feeling well; and being confident in getting a test.
Conclusion
Understanding how health beliefs may be associated with cervical cancer screening among underserved Vietnamese American women is essential for identifying the subgroup of women who are most at risk for cervical cancer and would benefit from intervention programs to increase screening rates.
doi:10.1089/jwh.2012.3587
PMCID: PMC3601630  PMID: 23428284
5.  Mobile Phone Text Messaging Intervention for Cervical Cancer Screening: Changes in Knowledge and Behavior Pre-Post Intervention 
Background
Cervical cancer poses a significant threat to Korean American women, who are reported to have one of the highest cervical cancer mortality rates in the United States. Studies consistently report that Korean American women have the lowest Pap test screening rates across US ethnic groups.
Objective
In response to the need to enhance cervical cancer screening in this vulnerable population, we developed and tested a 7-day mobile phone text message-based cervical cancer Screening (mScreening) intervention designed to promote the receipt of Pap tests by young Korean American women.
Methods
We developed and assessed the acceptability and feasibility of a 1-week mScreening intervention to increase knowledge of cervical cancer screening, intent to receive screening, and the receipt of a Pap test. Fogg’s Behavior Model was the conceptual framework that guided the development of the mScreening intervention. A series of focus groups were conducted to inform the development of the intervention. The messages were individually tailored for each participant and delivered to them for a 7-day period at each participant’s preferred time. A quasi-experimental research design of 30 Korean American women aged 21 to 29 years was utilized with baseline, post (1 week after the completion of mScreening), and follow-up (3 months after the completion of mScreening) testing.
Results
Findings revealed a significant increase in participants’ knowledge of cervical cancer (P<.001) and guidelines for cervical cancer screening (P=.006). A total of 23% (7/30) (95% CI 9.9-42.3) of the mScreening participants received a Pap test; 83% (25/30) of the participants expressed satisfaction with the intervention and 97% (29/30) reported that they would recommend the program to their friends, indicating excellent acceptability and feasibility of the intervention.
Conclusions
This study provides evidence of the effectiveness and feasibility of the mScreening intervention. Mobile technology is a promising tool to increase both knowledge and receipt of cervical cancer screening. Given the widespread usage of mobile phones among young adults, a mobile phone-based health intervention could be a low-cost and effective method of reaching populations with low cervical cancer screening rates, using individually tailored messages that cover broad content areas and overcome restrictions to place and time of delivery.
doi:10.2196/jmir.3576
PMCID: PMC4180333  PMID: 25164545
cervical cancer; Pap test; mobile health; text-messaging intervention; health behavior change; Korean American women; health disparity
6.  A Randomized Controlled Trial of Interventions to Promote Cervical Cancer Screening Among Chinese Women in North America 
Background
North American Chinese women have lower levels of Papanicolaou (Pap) testing than other population subgroups. We conducted a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of two alternative cervical cancer screening interventions for Chinese women living in North America.
Methods
Four hundred and eighty-two Pap testing underutilizers were identified from community-based surveys of Chinese women conducted in Seattle, Washington, and Vancouver, British Columbia. These women were randomly assigned to one of two experimental arms or control status. Several Chinese-language materials were used in both experimental arms: an education-entertainment video, a motivational pamphlet, an educational brochure, and a fact sheet. Women in the first experimental group (outreach worker intervention) received the materials, as well as tailored counseling and logistic assistance, during home visits by trilingual, bicultural outreach workers. Those in the second experimental group (direct mail intervention) received the materials by mail. The control group received usual care. Follow-up surveys were completed 6 months after randomization to ascertain participants’ Pap testing behavior. All statistical tests were two-sided.
Results
A total of 402 women responded to the follow-up survey (83% response rate). Of these women, 50 (39%) of the 129 women in the outreach group, 35 (25%) of the 139 women in the direct mail group, and 20 (15%) of the 134 women in the control group reported Pap testing in the interval between randomization and follow-up data collection (P<.001 for outreach worker versus control, P = .03 for direct mail versus control, and P = .02 for outreach worker versus direct mail). Intervention effects were greater in Vancouver than in Seattle.
Conclusion
Culturally and linguistically appropriate interventions may improve Pap testing levels among Chinese women in North America.
PMCID: PMC1592333  PMID: 11983755
7.  Effect of a Liver Cancer Education Program on Hepatitis B Screening Among Asian Americans in the Baltimore–Washington Metropolitan Area, 2009–2010 
Introduction
Asian Americans have the highest incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the major form of primary liver cancer, of all ethnic groups in the United States. Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is the most common cause of HCC, and as many as 1 in 10 foreign-born Asian Americans are chronically infected with HBV. We tested the effectiveness of a culturally tailored liver cancer education program for increasing screening for HBV among Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese Americans residing in the Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area, from November 2009 through June 2010.
Methods
We used a cluster randomized controlled trial to recruit volunteer participants from community-based organizations (CBOs) in the Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area. We selected 877 participants by using a pretest survey. People were eligible to participate if they had not attended a hepatitis B–related education program in the past 5 years. The intervention group (n = 441) received a 30-minute educational program, and the control group (n = 436) received an educational brochure. After attending the educational program, the intervention group completed a post-education survey. Six months later, participants in both groups were followed up by telephone. Receipt of HBV screening was the outcome measure.
Results
Approximately 79% (n = 688) of participants completed the 6-month follow-up telephone survey. Among those who had not had HBV screening at baseline (n = 446), the adjusted odds of self-reported receipt of HBV screening at the 6-month follow-up to the educational program were significantly higher for the intervention group than for the control group (odds ratio = 5.13; 95% confidence interval, 3.14–8.39; P < .001). Chinese Americans and Vietnamese Americans had significantly higher odds of having HBV screening in the 6-month period than Korean Americans.
Conclusion
Culturally tailored education programs that increase liver cancer awareness can be effective in increasing HBV screening among underserved Asian American populations.
doi:10.5888/pcd11.130258
PMCID: PMC3921910  PMID: 24503341
8.  Engaging diverse underserved communities to bridge the mammography divide 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:47.
Background
Breast cancer screening continues to be underutilized by the population in general, but is particularly underutilized by traditionally underserved minority populations. Two of the most at risk female minority groups are American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) and Latinas. American Indian women have the poorest recorded 5-year cancer survival rates of any ethnic group while breast cancer is the number one cause of cancer mortality among Latina women. Breast cancer screening rates for both minority groups are near or at the lowest among all racial/ethnic groups. As with other health screening behaviors, women may intend to get a mammogram but their intentions may not result in initiation or follow through of the examination process. An accumulating body of research, however, demonstrates the efficacy of developing 'implementation intentions' that define when, where, and how a specific behavior will be performed. The formulation of intended steps in addition to addressing potential barriers to test completion can increase a person's self-efficacy, operationalize and strengthen their intention to act, and close gaps between behavioral intention and completion. To date, an evaluation of the formulation of implementation intentions for breast cancer screening has not been conducted with minority populations.
Methods/Design
In the proposed program, community health workers will meet with rural-dwelling Latina and American Indian women one-on-one to educate them about breast cancer and screening and guide them through a computerized and culturally tailored "implementation intentions" program, called Healthy Living Kansas - Breast Health, to promote breast cancer screening utilization. We will target Latina and AI/AN women from two distinct rural Kansas communities. Women attending community events will be invited by CHWs to participate and be randomized to either a mammography "implementation intentions" (MI2) intervention or a comparison general breast cancer prevention informational intervention (C). CHWs will be armed with notebook computers loaded with our Healthy Living Kansas - Breast Health program and guide their peers through the program. Women in the MI2 condition will receive assistance with operationalizing their screening intentions and identifying and addressing their stated screening barriers with the goal of guiding them toward accessing screening services near their community. Outcomes will be evaluated at 120-days post randomization via self-report and will include mammography utilization status, barriers, and movement along a behavioral stages of readiness to screen model.
Discussion
This highly innovative project will be guided and initiated by AI/AN and Latina community members and will test the practical application of emerging behavioral theory among minority persons living in rural communities.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials (NCT): NCT01267110
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-47
PMCID: PMC3036625  PMID: 21255424
9.  A nurse-delivered intervention to reduce barriers to breast and cervical cancer screening in Chicago inner city clinics. 
Public Health Reports  1994;109(1):104-111.
An 18-month intervention was implemented to increase breast and cervical cancer screening among poor African-American women in Chicago. Breast and cervical cancer screening programs were set up in two public clinics, one community-based and the other hospital-based. Nurse clinicians and public health workers were used in these programs to recruit women in the clinics and in targeted community institutions to receive free breast and cervical cancer screening. The following barriers were specifically addressed by the intervention: accessibility of screening, knowledge about breast and cervical cancers, access to followup screening examinations, and access to treatment. A computerized followup system was specifically designed to track patients. During the 18 months of the intervention, 10,829 visits were made by 7,654 low-income women. A total of 84 cases of breast cancer and 9 cases of cervical cancer were detected. Awareness of the program, as measured by a survey after the completion of the intervention, increased in both clinics compared with baseline results. Knowledge about breast and cervical cancers also increased, as measured by scores on tests given before and after a class on breast and cervical cancers. Followup rates were 86 percent for women attending the programs. More than 90 percent of the women referred for evaluation of breast abnormalities kept an appointment. In summary, the intervention was successful in reducing barriers to breast and cervical cancer detection and in attracting a high-risk group of women.
PMCID: PMC1402249  PMID: 8303003
10.  Cervical cancer screening among Chinese Americans 
Cancer detection and prevention  2002;26(2):139-145.
Study purpose
Chinese women in North America have high rates of invasive cervical cancer and low levels of Papanicolaou (Pap) testing use. This study examined Pap testing barriers and facilitators among Chinese American women.
Basic procedures
A community-based, in-person survey of Chinese women was conducted in Seattle, Washington during 1999. Four hundred and thirty-two women in the 20–79 years age-group were included in this analysis. The main outcome measures were a history of at least one previous Pap smear and Pap testing within the last 2 years.
Main findings
Nineteen percent of the respondents had never received cervical cancer screening and 36% had not been screened in the previous 2 years. Eight characteristics were independently associated with a history of at least one Pap smear: being married, thinking Pap testing is necessary for sexually inactive women, lack of concerns about embarrassment or cancer being discovered, having received a physician or family recommendation, having obtained family planning services in North America, and having a regular provider. The following characteristics were independently associated with recent screening: thinking Pap testing is necessary for sexually inactive women, lack of concern about embarrassment, having received a physician recommendation, having obtained obstetric services in North America, and having a regular provider.
Principal conclusions
Pap testing levels among the study respondents were well below the National Cancer Institute’s Year 2000 goals. The findings suggest that cervical cancer control interventions for Chinese are more likely to be effective if they are multifaceted. © 2002 International Society for Preventive Oncology. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
PMCID: PMC1592328  PMID: 12102148
Chinese Americans; Cervical cancer; Papanicolaou testing
11.  Cervical Screening at Age 50–64 Years and the Risk of Cervical Cancer at Age 65 Years and Older: Population-Based Case Control Study 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(1):e1001585.
Peter Sasieni and colleagues use a population-based case control study to assess the risk of cervical cancer in screened women aged over 65 years to help inform policy on the upper age of cervical cancer screening.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
There is little consensus, and minimal evidence, regarding the age at which to stop cervical screening. We studied the association between screening at age 50–64 y and cervical cancer at age 65–83 y.
Methods and Findings
Cases were women (n = 1,341) diagnosed with cervical cancer at age 65–83 y between 1 April 2007 and 31 March 2012 in England and Wales; age-matched controls (n = 2,646) were randomly selected from population registers. Screening details from 1988 onwards were extracted from national databases. We calculated the odds ratios (OR) for different screening histories and subsequent cervical cancer. Women with adequate negative screening at age 65 y (288 cases, 1,395 controls) were at lowest risk of cervical cancer (20-y risk: 8 cancers per 10,000 women) compared with those (532 cases, 429 controls) not screened at age 50–64 y (20-y risk: 49 cancers per 10,000 women, with OR = 0.16, 95% CI 0.13–0.19). ORs depended on the age mix of women because of the weakening association with time since last screen: OR = 0.11, 95% CI 0.08–0.14 at 2.5 to 7.5 y since last screen; OR = 0.27, 95% CI 0.20–0.36 at 12.5 to 17.5 y since last screen. Screening at least every 5.5 y between the ages 50 and 64 y was associated with a 75% lower risk of cervical cancer between the ages 65 and 79 y (OR = 0.25, 95% CI 0.21–0.30), and the attributable risk was such that in the absence of screening, cervical cancer rates in women aged 65+ would have been 2.4 (95% CI 2.1–2.7) times higher. In women aged 80–83 y the association was weaker (OR = 0.49, 95% CI 0.28–0.83) than in those aged 65–69 y (OR = 0.12, 95% CI 0.09–0.17). This study was limited by an absence of data on confounding factors; additionally, findings based on cytology may not generalise to human papillomavirus testing.
Conclusions
Women with adequate negative screening at age 50–64 y had one-sixth of the risk of cervical cancer at age 65–83 y compared with women who were not screened. Stopping screening between ages 60 and 69 y in women with adequate negative screening seems sensible, but further screening may be justifiable as life expectancy increases.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Nearly one in ten cancers diagnosed in women occur in the cervix, the structure that connects the womb to the vagina. Every year, more than a quarter of a million women (mostly in developing countries) die because of cervical cancer, which occurs only after the cervix has been infected with human papillomavirus (HPV) through sexual intercourse. In the earliest stages of cervical cancer, abnormal cells begin to grow in the cervix. Cells with low-grade abnormalities (changes that often revert to normal), cells with high-grade abnormalities (which are more likely to become cancerous), and cancer cells can all be detected by collecting a few cells from the cervix and examining them under a microscope. This test forms the basis of cervical screening, which has greatly reduced cervical cancer deaths in countries with a national screening program by ensuring that cervical abnormalities are detected at an early, treatable stage. In the UK, for example, since the start of a cervical screening program in 1988 in which women aged 25–64 years are called for testing every 3–5 years, the incidence of cervical cancer (the number of new cases per year) has almost halved at a time when sexually transmitted diseases have more than doubled.
Why Was This Study Done?
Currently, there is little consensus about the age at which cervical screening should stop, and minimal evidence about the impact of cervical screening on the incidence of cervical cancer in older women. In this population-based case control study (a study that compares the characteristics of all the cases of a disease in a population with the characteristics of matched individuals without the disease), the researchers examine the association between screening in women aged 50–64 years and cervical cancer in women aged 65–83 years. They ask whether well-screened women with a history of negative results and no evidence of high-grade abnormalities are at sufficiently low risk of cervical cancer that screening can be stopped at age 65 years, and whether women who are regularly screened (at least once every 5.5 years) between the ages of 50 and 64 years are subsequently at reduced risk of cervical cancer.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers randomly selected two age-matched controls for every woman aged 65–83 years who was diagnosed with cervical cancer between 2007 and 2012 in England and Wales. The researchers included 1,341 women with cervical cancer and 2,646 controls. They extracted each woman's cervical screening details from national databases and calculated the association between screening history and subsequent cervical cancer. Women with adequate negative screening at age 65 years (at least three tests at age 50–64 years with the last one over age 60, the last three of which were negative, and no evidence of high-grade abnormalities) were at the lowest risk of cervical cancer (20-year risk of eight cancers per 10,000 women) compared with unscreened women (20-year risk of 49 cancers per 10,000 women). That is, women who were not screened at age 50–64 years were six times more likely to develop cervical cancer between the ages of 65 and 83 years than women who were screened. The risk of developing cervical cancer among adequately negatively screened women increased with age and with time since the last screen. Finally, the researchers estimate that in the absence of any cervical screening, the rate of cervical cancer among women aged 65–79 years would be 23 cases per 100,000 woman-years, 2.4 times higher than the current rate.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that women who exited the screening program in England and Wales with a history of adequate negative screening between the ages of 50 and 64 years were at a very low risk of being diagnosed with cervical cancer at the age of 65 years or older. The “protection” provided by screening was greatest for women aged 65–69 years and decreased steadily with increasing age and with time since the last negative screen. Because the researchers did not have any information on other characteristics that might have affected cervical cancer risk (for example, number of sexual partners), the women who were screened may have shared other characteristics that reduced their risk of developing cervical cancer. Moreover, these findings, which are based on microscopic examination of cells, may not generalise to the HPV-based screening programs that many countries are considering. Despite these limitations, the researchers conclude that, for now, it seems sensible to continue screening at least until age 60 years and not beyond age 69 years in women with adequate negative screening, but that given increasing life expectancy, screening in older women might be justified in the future.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001585.
This study is further discussed in a PLOS Medicine Perspective by Anne Rositch and colleagues
The US National Cancer Institute provides information about cervical cancer for patients and for health professionals, including information on cervical screening (in English and Spanish)
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has information about cervical cancer and about cervical screening
The UK National Health Service Cervical Screening Programme website has detailed information and statistics on cervical screening in England
The UK National Health Service Choices website has pages on cervical cancer (including a personal story about cervical cancer) and on cervical screening (including personal comments about screening)
Cancer Research UK provides detailed information about all aspects of cervical cancer
More information about cervical cancer and screening is available from the Macmillan cancer charity
MedlinePlus provides links to additional resources about cervical cancer and screening (in English and Spanish)
Personal stories about cervical cancer and about cervical screening are available through the charity Healthtalkonline
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001585
PMCID: PMC3891624  PMID: 24453946
12.  Cervical Cancer Screening Among Chinese Immigrants in Seattle, Washington 
Journal of immigrant health  2001;3(1):15-21.
Introduction
Chinese American women have high rates of invasive cervical cancer, compared to the general population. However, little is known about the Pap testing behavior of ethnic Chinese immigrants.
Methods
We conducted a community-based survey of Chinese immigrants living in Seattle, Washington, during 1999. Two indicators of cervical cancer screening participation were examined: at least one previous Pap smear and Pap testing in the last 2 years.
Results
The overall estimated response rate was 64%, and the cooperation rate was 72%. Our study sample for this analysis included 647 women. Nearly one quarter (24%) of the respondents had never had a Pap test, and only 60% had been screened recently. Factors independently associated with cervical cancer screening use included marital status, housing type, and age at immigration.
Conclusion
Our findings confirm low levels of cervical cancer screening among Chinese immigrants to North America. Culturally and linguistically appropriate Pap testing intervention programs for less acculturated Chinese women should be developed, implemented, and evaluated.
doi:10.1023/A:1026606401164
PMCID: PMC1618776  PMID: 16228798
Chinese immigrants; cervical cancer; Pap testing
13.  PAP SMEAR RECEIPT AMONG VIETNAMESE IMMIGRANTS: THE IMPORTANCE OF HEALTH CARE FACTORS 
Ethnicity & health  2009;14(6):575-589.
Objective
Recent US data indicate that women of Vietnamese descent have higher cervical cancer incidence rates than women of any other race/ethnicity, and lower levels of Pap testing than white, black, and Latina women. Our objective was to provide information about Pap testing barriers and facilitators that could be used to develop cervical cancer control intervention programs for Vietnamese American women.
Design
We conducted a cross-sectional, community-based survey of Vietnamese immigrants. Our study was conducted in metropolitan Seattle, Washington. A total of 1,532 Vietnamese American women participated in the study. Demographic, health care, and knowledge/belief items associated with previous cervical cancer screening participation (ever screened and screened according to interval screening guidelines) were examined.
Results
Eighty-one percent of the respondents had been screened for cervical cancer in the previous three years. Recent Pap testing was strongly associated (p<0.001) with having a regular doctor, having a physical in the last year, previous physician recommendation for testing, and having asked a physician for testing. Women whose regular doctor was a Vietnamese man were no more likely to have received a recent Pap smear than those with no regular doctor.
Conclusion
Our findings indicate that cervical cancer screening disparities between Vietnamese and other racial/ethnic groups are decreasing. Efforts to further increase Pap smear receipt in Vietnamese American communities should enable women without a source of health care to find a regular provider. Additionally, intervention programs should improve patient-provider communication by encouraging health care providers (especially male Vietnamese physicians serving women living in ethnic enclaves) to recommend Pap testing, as well as by empowering Vietnamese women to specifically ask their physicians for Pap testing.
doi:10.1080/13557850903111589
PMCID: PMC2788032  PMID: 19626504
Cervical cancer; Immigrants; Pap testing; Vietnamese
14.  A systematic review of interventions to increase breast and cervical cancer screening uptake among Asian women 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:413.
Background
The Asian population is one of the fastest growing ethnic minority groups in western countries. However, cancer screening uptake is consistently lower in this group than in the native-born populations. As a first step towards developing an effective cancer screening intervention program targeting Asian women, we conducted a comprehensive systematic review, without geographic, language or date limitations, to update current knowledge on the effectiveness of existing intervention strategies to enhance breast and cervical screening uptake in Asian women.
Methods
This study systematically reviewed studies published as of January 2010 to synthesize knowledge about effectiveness of cancer screening interventions targeting Asian women. Fifteen multidisciplinary peer-reviewed and grey literature databases were searched to identify relevant studies.
Results
The results of our systematic review were reported in accordance with the PRISMA Statement. Of 37 selected intervention studies, only 18 studies included valid outcome measures (i.e. self-reported or recorded receipt of mammograms or Pap smear). 11 of the 18 intervention studies with valid outcome measures used multiple intervention strategies to target individuals in a specific Asian ethnic group. This observed pattern of intervention design supports the hypothesis that employing a combination of multiple strategies is more likely to be successful than single interventions. The effectiveness of community-based or workplace-based group education programs increases when additional supports, such as assistance in scheduling/attending screening and mobile screening services are provided. Combining cultural awareness training for health care professionals with outreach workers who can help healthcare professionals overcome language and cultural barriers is likely to improve cancer screening uptake. Media campaigns and mailed culturally sensitive print materials alone may be ineffective in increasing screening uptake. Intervention effectiveness appears to vary with ethnic population, methods of program delivery, and study setting.
Conclusions
Despite some limitations, our review has demonstrated that the effectiveness of existing interventions to promote breast and cervical cancer screening uptake in Asian women may hinge on a variety of factors, such as type of intervention and study population characteristics. While some studies demonstrated the effectiveness of certain intervention programs, the cost effectiveness and long-term sustainability of these programs remain questionable. When adopting an intervention program, it is important to consider the impacts of social-and cultural factors specific to the Asian population on cancer screening uptake. Future research is needed to develop new interventions and tools, and adopt vigorous study design and evaluation methodologies to increase cancer screening among Asian women to promote population health and health equity.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-413
PMCID: PMC3488494  PMID: 22676147
15.  Pathways of cervical cancer screening among Chinese women 
Background
The purpose of this community-based study was to develop a structural equation model for factors contributing to cervical cancer screening among Chinese American women.
Methods
A cross-sectional design included a sample of 573 Chinese American women aged 18 years and older. The initial step involved use of confirmatory factor analysis, that included the following variables: access to and satisfaction with health care, and enabling and predisposing cultural and health beliefs. Structural equation model analyses were conducted on factors related to cervical cancer screening.
Results
Age, marital status, employment, household income, and having health insurance, but not educational level, were significantly related to cervical screening status. Predisposing and enabling factors were positively associated with cervical cancer screening. The cultural factor was significantly related to the enabling factor or the satisfaction with health care factor.
Conclusion
This model highlights the significance of sociocultural factors in relation to cervical cancer screening. These factors were significant, with cultural, predisposing, enabling, and health belief factors and access to and satisfaction with health care reinforcing the need to assist Chinese American women with poor English fluency in translation and awareness of the importance of cervical cancer screening. Community organizations may play a role in assisting Chinese American women, which could enhance cervical cancer screening rates.
doi:10.2147/IJWH.S45405
PMCID: PMC3702238  PMID: 23843708
Papanicolaou test; cervical cancer screening; Chinese women
16.  Assessing Awareness and Knowledge of Breast and Cervical Cancer Among Appalachian Women 
Preventing Chronic Disease  2006;3(4):A125.
Introduction
West Virginia is the only state that lies entirely within Appalachia. West Virginians tend to be poorer and more likely to lack health insurance than the general U.S. population. The purpose of this qualitative study was to 1) obtain an understanding of attitudes about breast and cervical cancer screening among women aged 25 to 64 years; 2) determine factors that motivate women to be screened for breast and cervical cancer; and 3) evaluate educational materials about breast and cervical cancer screening for use in this population.
Methods
The West Virginia Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program (WVBCCSP) is a comprehensive public health program, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dedicated to removing barriers to breast and cervical cancer screening and providing screenings to underserved women aged 25 to 64 years. The program partnered with RMS Strategies, Inc, to conduct six focus groups in three communities in West Virginia. Women were recruited by telephone based on program eligibility guidelines.
Results
Results indicated that women were concerned about health care costs and lack of health insurance. Cost, fear, and embarrassment were identified as the top barriers to breast and cervical cancer screening. Participants believed that community-based educational campaigns would increase screening and promote use of the WVBCCSP.
Conclusion
Understanding why low-income Appalachian women do not get screened for breast and cervical cancer and determining motivational factors that encourage screening are important to increase screening rates among this population. Breast and cervical cancer efforts that use the words, knowledge, and suggestions of the women they serve are more likely to be effective and have a larger impact.
PMCID: PMC1779289  PMID: 16978500
17.  Papanicolaou Testing among Women in the Southern United States 
Journal of Women's Health  2008;17(6):939-946.
Abstract
Background
Cervical cancer is largely preventable with screening using Papanicolaou (Pap) testing. We examined Pap testing among southern women, mostly of low income and educational status, to determine if rates were similar to those reported nationally and to examine which factors were related to receipt of Pap tests.
Methods
Baseline interview data from 19,046 women aged 40–79 enrolled at community health centers into the Southern Community Cohort were analyzed. The percentages of women reporting a recent Pap test (within the past 3 years) were compared according to sociodemographic, healthcare access, and health-related behavior variables. Logistic regression analyses were employed to compute odds ratios (ORs) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (95% CI).
Results
Overall, 88% of the women reported having received a recent Pap test. Screening rates were high among all racial/ethnic groups, but highest for African American women. Not having a Pap test was significantly associated with lower education (OR declining to 0.73, 95% CI 0.64-0.85, among those with less than a high school education), lower income (OR declining to 0.61, 95% CI 0.43-0.87, among those with annual household incomes <$15,000), and not having health insurance (OR 0.83, 95% CI 0.71-0.97). The most common reason reported by women as to why they had not a Pap test was cost (25%), followed by reporting a doctor had not recommended the test (22%).
Conclusions
Pap testing was most frequent among African American women. Subsets, such as women with less education, low income, and no health insurance, however, may not be adequately screened for cervical cancer.
doi:10.1089/jwh.2007.0576
PMCID: PMC2942751  PMID: 18582173
18.  Perceptions of barriers and facilitators of cancer early detection among low-income minority women in community health centers. 
African-American and Hispanic women receive fewer indicated cancer early detection services than do majority women. Low rates of cancer screening may, in part, explain the disproportionately higher rates of cancer deaths in this population. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore through individual interviews the perceptions of barriers and facilitators of colorectal, cervical and breast cancer screening among 187 low-income, primarily minority women in four New-York-City-based community/migrant health centers. We identified various barriers and facilitators within each of these categories. Clinician recommendation was the most commonly cited encouragement to cancer screening. Other facilitators of cancer screening identified by patients included personal medical history, such as the presence of a symptom. The perception of screening as routine was cited as a facilitator far more commonly for mammography and Pap tests than for either of the colorectal screenings. Less commonly cited facilitators were insurance coverage and information from the media. The most common barriers were a lack of cancer screening knowledge, patients' perception of good health or absence of symptoms attributable to ill health, fear of pain from the cancer test and a lack of a clinician recommendation. Using standard qualitative techniques, patients' responses were analyzed and grouped into a taxonomy of three major categories reflecting: (1) patients' attitudes and beliefs, (2) their social network experience and (3) accessibility of services. This taxonomy may serve as a useful framework for primary care providers to educate and counsel their patients about cancer screening behaviors.
PMCID: PMC2568778  PMID: 15712779
19.  Encouraging Vietnamese-American Women to Obtain Pap Tests Through Lay Health Worker Outreach and Media Education 
BACKGROUND
Five times more Vietnamese-American women develop cervical cancer than white women. Few studies have examined whether community-based participatory research can effectively address Asian immigrants' health problems. This article reports the preliminary evaluation of 1 such project.
METHODS
A coalition of 11 organizations in Santa Clara County, California worked with university researchers to design and simultaneously implement a media education (ME) campaign and a lay health worker outreach (LHWO) program to increase Vietnamese-American women's cervical cancer awareness, knowledge, and screening. Two agencies each recruited 10 lay health workers (LHWs), who, in turn, each recruited 20 women who were then randomized into 2 groups: 10 to LHWO+ME (n = 200) and 10 to ME alone (n = 200). LHWs organized meetings with women to increase their knowledge and to motivate them to obtain Pap tests. Participants completed pre- and post-intervention questionnaires.
RESULTS
At post-intervention, significantly more LHWO+ME women understood that human papillomavirus and smoking cause cervical cancer. The number of women who had obtained a Pap test increased significantly among women in both LHWO+ME and ME groups, but substantially more in the LHWO+ME group. Significantly more LHWO+ME women said they intended to have a Pap test.
CONCLUSIONS
Media education campaigns can increase Vietnamese women's awareness of the importance of Pap tests, but lay health workers are more effective at encouraging women to actually obtain the tests. Lay health workers are effective because they use their cultural knowledge and social networks to create change. Researchers, community members, and community-based organizations can share expert knowledge and skills, and build one another's capacities.
doi:10.1046/j.1525-1497.2003.21043.x
PMCID: PMC1494888  PMID: 12848834
cervical cancer; screening; vietnamese; lay health worker; media
20.  Community Health Worker Intervention to Decrease Cervical Cancer Disparities in Hispanic Women 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2010;25(11):1186-1192.
INTRODUCTION
U.S. Hispanic women suffer a disproportionate burden of cervical cancer, with incidence and mortality rates almost twice that of whites. Community health workers, or promotoras, are considered a potential strategy for eliminating such racial and ethnic health disparities. The current study is a randomized trial of a promotora-led educational intervention focused on cervical cancer in a local Hispanic community.
METHODS
Four promotoras led a series of two workshops with community members covering content related to cervical cancer. Sociodemographic characteristics, cervical cancer risk, previous screening history, cervical cancer knowledge, and self-efficacy were measured by a pre-intervention questionnaire. The post-intervention questionnaire measured the following outcomes: cervical cancer knowledge (on a 0–6 scale), self-efficacy (on a 0–5 scale), and receipt of Pap smear screening during the previous 6 months (dichotomous). Univariate analyses were performed using chi square, t-test, and the Mann–Whitney test. Multivariate logistic regression was used to model the association between explanatory variables and receipt of Pap smear screening.
RESULTS
There were no statistically significant differences between the two experimental groups at baseline. Follow-up data revealed significant improvements in all outcome measures: Pap smear screening (65% vs. 36%, p-value 0.02), cervical cancer knowledge (5.4 vs. 3.5, p-value < 0.001), and self-efficacy (4.7 vs. 4.0, p-value 0.002). In multivariate analysis, cervical cancer knowledge (OR 1.68, 95% CI 1.10-2.81) and intervention group assignment (OR 6.74, 95% CI 1.77-25.66) were associated with receiving a Pap smear during the follow-up period.
DISCUSSION
Our randomized trial of a promotora-led educational intervention demonstrated improved Pap screening rates, in addition to increased knowledge about cervical cancer and self-efficacy. The observed association between cervical cancer knowledge and Pap smear receipt underscores the importance of educating vulnerable populations about the diseases that disproportionately affect them. Future research should evaluate such programs on a larger scale, and identify novel targets for intervention.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11606-010-1434-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s11606-010-1434-6
PMCID: PMC2947642  PMID: 20607434
cervical cancer; health disparities; community health worker; promotora
21.  Screening Mammography for Women Aged 40 to 49 Years at Average Risk for Breast Cancer 
Executive Summary
Objective
The aim of this review was to determine the effectiveness of screening mammography in women aged 40 to 49 years at average risk for breast cancer.
Clinical Need
The effectiveness of screening mammography in women aged over 50 years has been established, yet the issue of screening in women aged 40 to 49 years is still unsettled. The Canadian Task Force of Preventive Services, which sets guidelines for screening mammography for all provinces, supports neither the inclusion nor the exclusion of this screening procedure for 40- to 49-year-old women from the periodic health examination. In addition to this, 2 separate reviews, one conducted in Quebec in 2005 and the other in Alberta in 2000, each concluded that there is an absence of convincing evidence on the effectiveness of screening mammography for women in this age group who are at average risk for breast cancer.
In the United States, there is disagreement among organizations on whether population-based mammography should begin at the age of 40 or 50 years. The National Institutes of Health, the American Association for Cancer Research, and the American Academy of Family Physicians recommend against screening women in their 40s, whereas the United States Preventive Services Task Force, the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend screening mammograms for women aged 40 to 49 years. Furthermore, in comparing screening guidelines between Canada and the United States, it is also important to recognize that “standard care” within a socialized medical system such as Canada’s differs from that of the United States. The National Breast Screening Study (NBSS-1), a randomized screening trial conducted in multiple centres across Canada, has shown there is no benefit in mortality from breast cancer from annual mammograms in women randomized between the ages of 40 and 49, relative to standard care (i.e. physical exam and teaching of breast-self examination on entry to the study, with usual community care thereafter).
At present, organized screening programs in Canada systematically screen women starting at 50 years of age, although with a physician’s referral, a screening mammogram is an insured service in Ontario for women under 50 years of age.
International estimates of the epidemiology of breast cancer show that the incidence of breast cancer is increasing for all ages combined, whereas mortality is decreasing, though at a slower rate. These decreasing mortality rates may be attributed to screening and advances in breast cancer therapy over time. Decreases in mortality attributable to screening may be a result of the earlier detection and treatment of invasive cancers, in addition to the increased detection of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), of which certain subpathologies are less lethal. Evidence from the SEER cancer registry in the United States indicates that the age-adjusted incidence of DCIS has increased almost 10-fold over a 20-year period (from 2.7 to 25 per 100,000).
The incidence of breast cancer is lower in women aged 40 to 49 years than in women aged 50 to 69 years (about 140 per 100,000 versus 500 per 100,000 women, respectively), as is the sensitivity (about 75% versus 85% for women aged under and over 50, respectively) and specificity of mammography (about 80% versus 90% for women aged under and over 50, respectively). The increased density of breast tissue in younger women is mainly responsible for the lower accuracy of this procedure in this age group. In addition, as the proportion of breast cancers that occur before the age of 50 are more likely to be associated with genetic predisposition as compared with those diagnosed in women after the age of 50, mammography may not be an optimal screening method for younger women.
Treatment options vary with the stage of disease (based on tumor size, involvement of surrounding tissue, and number of affected axillary lymph nodes) and its pathology, and may include a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiotherapy.
Surgery is the first-line intervention for biopsy confirmed tumours. The subsequent use of radiation, chemotherapy, or hormonal treatments is dependent on the histopathologic characteristics of the tumor and the type of surgery. There is controversy regarding the optimal treatment of DCIS, which is noninvasive.
With such controversy as to the effectiveness of mammography and the potential risk associated with women being overtreated or actual cancers being missed, and the increased risk of breast cancer associated with exposure to annual mammograms over a 10-year period, the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee requested this review of screening mammography in women aged 40 to 49 years at average risk for breast cancer. This review is the first of 2 parts and concentrates on the effectiveness of screening mammography (i.e., film mammography, FM) for women at average risk aged 40 to 49 years. The second part will be an evaluation of screening by either magnetic resonance imaging or digital mammography, with the objective of determining the optimal screening modality in these younger women.
Review Strategy
The following questions were asked:
Does screening mammography for women aged 40 to 49 years who are at average risk for breast cancer reduce breast cancer mortality?
What is the sensitivity and specificity of mammography for this age group?
What are the risks associated with annual screening from ages 40 to 49?
What are the risks associated with false positive and false negative mammography results?
What are the economic considerations if evidence for effectiveness is established?
The Medical Advisory Secretariat followed its standard procedures and searched these electronic databases: Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE, Ovid MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and the International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment.
Keywords used in the search were breast cancer, breast neoplasms, mass screening, and mammography.
In total, the search yielded 6,359 articles specific to breast cancer screening and mammography. This did not include reports on diagnostic mammograms. The search was further restricted to English-language randomized controlled trials (RCTs), systematic reviews, and meta-analyses published between 1995 and 2005. Excluded were case reports, comments, editorials, and letters, which narrowed the results to 516 articles and previous health technology policy assessments.
These were examined against the criteria outlined below. This resulted in the inclusion of 5 health technology assessments, the Canadian Preventive Services Task Force report, the United States Preventive Services Task Force report, 1 Cochrane review, and 8 RCTs.
Inclusion Criteria
English-language articles, and English and French-language health technology policy assessments, conducted by other organizations, from 1995 to 2005
Articles specific to RCTs of screening mammography of women at average risk for breast cancer that included results for women randomized to studies between the ages of 40 and 49 years
Studies in which women were randomized to screening with or without mammography, although women may have had clinical breast examinations and/or may have been conducting breast self-examination.
UK Age Trial results published in December 2006.
Exclusion Criteria
Observational studies, including those nested within RCTs
RCTs that do not include results on women between the ages of 40 and 49 at randomization
Studies in which mammography was compared with other radiologic screening modalities, for example, digital mammography, magnetic resonance imaging or ultrasound.
Studies in which women randomized had a personal history of breast cancer.
Intervention
Film mammography
Comparators
Within RCTs, the comparison group would have been women randomized to not undergo screening mammography, although they may have had clinical breast examinations and/or have been conducting breast self-examination.
Outcomes of Interest
Breast cancer mortality
Summary of Findings
There is Level 1 Canadian evidence that screening women between the ages of 40 and 49 years who are at average risk for breast cancer is not effective, and that the absence of a benefit is sustained over a maximum follow-up period of 16 years.
All remaining studies that reported on women aged under 50 years were based on subset analyses. They provide additional evidence that, when all these RCTs are taken into account, there is no significant reduction in breast cancer mortality associated with screening mammography in women aged 40 to 49 years.
Conclusions
There is Level 1 evidence that screening mammography in women aged 40 to 49 years at average risk for breast cancer is not effective in reducing mortality.
Moreover, risks associated with exposure to mammographic radiation, the increased risk of missed cancers due to lower mammographic sensitivity, and the psychological impact of false positives, are not inconsequential.
The UK Age Trial results published in December 2006 did not change these conclusions.
PMCID: PMC3377515  PMID: 23074501
22.  Packaging Health Services When Resources Are Limited: The Example of a Cervical Cancer Screening Visit 
PLoS Medicine  2006;3(11):e434.
Background
Increasing evidence supporting the value of screening women for cervical cancer once in their lifetime, coupled with mounting interest in scaling up successful screening demonstration projects, present challenges to public health decision makers seeking to take full advantage of the single-visit opportunity to provide additional services. We present an analytic framework for packaging multiple interventions during a single point of contact, explicitly taking into account a budget and scarce human resources, constraints acknowledged as significant obstacles for provision of health services in poor countries.
Methods and Findings
We developed a binary integer programming (IP) model capable of identifying an optimal package of health services to be provided during a single visit for a particular target population. Inputs to the IP model are derived using state-transition models, which compute lifetime costs and health benefits associated with each intervention. In a simplified example of a single lifetime cervical cancer screening visit, we identified packages of interventions among six diseases that maximized disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) averted subject to budget and human resource constraints in four resource-poor regions. Data were obtained from regional reports and surveys from the World Health Organization, international databases, the published literature, and expert opinion. With only a budget constraint, interventions for depression and iron deficiency anemia were packaged with cervical cancer screening, while the more costly breast cancer and cardiovascular disease interventions were not. Including personnel constraints resulted in shifting of interventions included in the package, not only across diseases but also between low- and high-intensity intervention options within diseases.
Conclusions
The results of our example suggest several key themes: Packaging other interventions during a one-time visit has the potential to increase health gains; the shortage of personnel represents a real-world constraint that can impact the optimal package of services; and the shortage of different types of personnel may influence the contents of the package of services. Our methods provide a general framework to enhance a decision maker's ability to simultaneously consider costs, benefits, and important nonmonetary constraints. We encourage analysts working on real-world problems to shift from considering costs and benefits of interventions for a single disease to exploring what synergies might be achievable by thinking across disease burdens.
Jane Kim and colleagues analyzed the possible ways that multiple health interventions might be packaged together during a single visit, taking into account scarce financial and human resources.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Public health decision makers in developed and developing countries are exploring the idea of providing packages of health checks at specific times during a person's lifetime to detect and/or prevent life-threatening diseases such as diabetes, heart problems, and some cancers. Bundling together tests for different diseases has advantages for both health-care systems and patients. It can save time and money for both parties and, by associating health checks with life events such as childbirth, it can take advantage of a valuable opportunity to check on the overall health of individuals who may otherwise rarely visit a doctor. But money and other resources (for example, nurses to measure blood pressure) are always limited, even in wealthy countries, so decision makers have to assess the likely costs and benefits of packages of interventions before putting them into action.
Why Was This Study Done?
Recent evidence suggests that women in developing countries would benefit from a once-in-a-lifetime screen for cervical cancer, a leading cause of cancer death for this population. If such a screening strategy for cervical cancer were introduced, it might provide a good opportunity to offer women other health checks, but it is unclear which interventions should be packaged together. In this study, the researchers have developed an analytic framework to identify an optimal package of health services to offer to women attending a clinic for their lifetime cervical cancer screen. Their model takes into account monetary limitations and possible shortages in trained personnel to do the health checks, and balances these constraints against the likely health benefits for the women.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers developed a “mathematical programming” model to identify an optimal package of health services to be provided during a single visit. They then used their model to estimate the average costs and health outcomes per woman of various combinations of health interventions for 35- to 40-year-old women living in four regions of the world with high adult death rates. The researchers chose breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, depression, anemia caused by iron deficiency, and sexually transmitted diseases as health conditions to be checked in addition to cervical cancer during the single visit. They considered two ways—one cheap in terms of money and people; the other more expensive but often more effective—of checking for or dealing with each potential health problem. When they set a realistic budgetary constraint (based on the annual health budget of the poorest countries and a single health check per woman in the two decades following her reproductive years), the optimal health package generated by the model for all four regions included cervical cancer screening done by testing for human papillomavirus (an effective but complex test), treatment for depression, and screening or treatment for anemia. When a 50% shortage in general (for example, nurses) and specialized (for example, doctors) personnel time was also included, the health benefits of the package were maximized by using a simpler test for cervical cancer and by treating anemia but not depression; this freed up resources in some regions to screen for breast cancer or cardiovascular disease.
What Do These Findings Mean?
The model described by the researchers provides a way to explore the potential advantages of delivering a package of health interventions to individuals in a single visit. Like all mathematical models, its conclusions rely heavily on the data used in its construction. Indeed, the researchers stress that, because they did not have full data on the effectiveness of each intervention and made many other assumptions, their results on their own cannot be used to make policy decisions. Nevertheless, their results clearly show that the packaging of multiple health services during a single visit has great potential to maximize health gains, provided the right interventions are chosen. Most importantly, their analysis shows that in the real world the shortage of personnel, which has been ignored in previous analyses even though it is a major problem in many developing countries, will affect which health conditions and specific interventions should be bundled together to provide the greatest impact on public health.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0030434.g001.
The World Health Organization has information on choosing cost-effective health interventions and on human resources for health
The American Cancer Society offers patient information on cervical cancer
The Alliance for Cervical Cancer Prevention includes information about cervical cancer prevention programs in developing countries
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0030434
PMCID: PMC1635742  PMID: 17105337
23.  Evaluation of a Worksite Cervical Screening Initiative to Increase Pap Smear Uptake in Malaysia: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial 
BioMed Research International  2013;2013:572126.
Background. Despite the significant burden of cervical cancer, Malaysia like many middle-income countries relies on opportunistic cervical screening as opposed to a more organized population-based program. The aim of this study was to ascertain the effectiveness of a worksite screening initiative upon Papanicolaou smear test (Pap test) uptake among educated working women in Malaysia. Methods. 403 female teachers who never or infrequently attended for a Pap test from 40 public secondary schools in Kuala Lumpur were recruited into a cluster randomized trial conducted between January and November 2010. The intervention group participated in a worksite cervical screening initiative whilst the control group received usual care from the existing cervical screening program. Multivariate logistic regression was performed to determine the impact of the intervention program on Pap smear uptake after 24 weeks of followup. Results. The proportion of women attending for a Pap test was significantly higher in the intervention than in the control group (18.1% versus 10.1%, P value < 0.05) with the worksite screening initiative doubling the Pap smear uptake, adjusted odds ratio 2.44 (95% CI: 1.29–4.62). Conclusion. Worksite health promotion interventions can effectively increase cervical smear uptake rates among eligible workers in middle-income countries. Policy makers and health care providers in these countries should include such interventions in strategies for reducing cervical cancer burden. This trial is registered with IRCT201103186088N1.
doi:10.1155/2013/572126
PMCID: PMC3773923  PMID: 24073411
24.  Development of Cervical Cancer Control Interventions for Chinese Immigrants 
Journal of immigrant health  2002;4(3):147-157.
The objective of the study was to develop a culturally relevant video and a pamphlet for use as a cervical cancer screening educational intervention among North-American Chinese women. The project conducted 87 qualitative interviews and nine focus groups to develop a culturally tailored intervention to improve Pap testing rates. The intervention consisted of an educational/motivational video, a pamphlet, and home visits. Less acculturated Chinese women draw on a rich tradition of herbal knowledge and folk practices historically based on Chinese medical theory, now mixed with new information from the media and popular culture. The video, the pamphlet, and the outreach workers knowledge base were designed using these results and combined with biomedical information to address potential obstacles to Pap testing. Culturally relevant information for reproductive health promotion was easily retrieved through qualitative interviews and used to create educational materials modeling the integration of Pap testing into Chinese women’s health practices.
doi:10.1023/A:1015650901458
PMCID: PMC1592327  PMID: 16228758
Pap testing; cervical cancer; cross-cultural medicine; Chinese; health education
25.  Pathways of Breast Cancer Screening Among Chinese American Women 
Objective
The purpose of this community-based study was to develop a structural equation model for factors contributing to breast cancer screening among Chinese American women.
Methods
A cross-sectional design included a sample of 440 Chinese American women aged 40 years and older. The initial step involved use of confirmatory factor analysis, which included the following variables: access/satisfaction with health care, enabling, predisposing, and cultural and health belief factors. Structural equation model analyses were conducted to evaluate factors related to breast cancer screening in Chinese American women.
Results
Initial univariate analyses indicated that women without health insurance were significantly more likely to report being never-screened compared to women with health insurance. Structural equation modeling techniques were used to evaluate the utility of the Sociocultural Health Behavior model in understanding breast cancer screening among Chinese American women. Results indicated that enabling and predisposing factors were significantly and positively related to breast cancer screening. Cultural factors were significantly associated with enabling factors and satisfaction with healthcare. Overall, the proposed model explained 34% of the variance in breast cancer screening among Chinese American women.
Conclusions
The model highlights the significance of enabling and predisposing factors in understanding breast cancer screening behaviors among Chinese American women. In addition, cultural factors were associated with enabling factors, reinforcing the importance of providing translation assistance to Chinese women with poor English fluency and increasing awareness of the critical role of breast cancer screening. Partnering with community organizations may help to facilitate and enhance the screening rates.
doi:10.4172/2161-0711.1000209
PMCID: PMC3762685  PMID: 24013711
Mammograms; Breast cancer screening; Chinese women

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