Public-private collaborations are increasingly being utilized to universalize health care. In Malawi, the Ministry of Health contracts selected health facilities owned by the main faith-based provider, the Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM), to deliver care at no fee to the most vulnerable and underserved populations in the country through Service Level Agreements (SLAs). This study examined the features of SLAs and their effectiveness in expanding universal coverage. The study involved a policy analysis focusing on key stakeholders around SLAs as well as a case study approach to analyse how design and implementation of SLAs affect efficiency, equity and sustainability of services delivered by SLAs.
The study employed both qualitative and quantitative research methods to address the research questions and was conducted in five CHAM health facilities: Mulanje Mission, Holy Family, and Mtengowanthenga Hospitals, and Mabiri and Nkope Health Centres. National and district level decision makers were interviewed while providers and clients associated with the health facilities were surveyed on their experiences. A total of 155 clients from an expected 175 were recruited in the study.
The study findings revealed key aspects of how SLAs were operating, the extent to which their objectives were being attained and why. In general, the findings demonstrated that SLAs had the potential to improve health and universal health care coverage, particularly for the vulnerable and underserved populations. However, the findings show that the performance of SLAs in Malawi were affected by various factors including lack of clear guidelines, non-revised prices, late payment of bills, lack of transparency, poor communication, inadequate human and material resources, and lack of systems to monitor performance of SLAs, amongst others.
There was strong consensus and shared interest between the government and CHAM regarding SLAs. It was clear that free services provided by SLAs had a great impact on the impoverished locals that used the facilities. However, lack of supporting systems, inadequate infrastructure and shortage of health care providers affected SLA performance. The paper provides recommendations to policy makers for the replication and strengthening of SLA implementation in the roll-out of universalization policy.
Health policy; Financial risk protection; Policy analysis; Universal coverage
OBJECTIVES--To determine the factors that deter ethnic minority women living in east London from attending their general practitioner for cervical cytology screening. DESIGN--Qualitative study by means of focus group discussions between October 1993 and March 1994. SETTING--East London. SUBJECTS--Non-health specific established community groups and specially convened groups of Bengali, Kurdish, Turkish, Urdu and Punjabi, and Chinese speaking women. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--The spontaneous views of non-English speaking women resident in east London on cervical screening, focusing on attitudes to screening, their experiences of the cervical cytology screening services as currently provided, and their knowledge and beliefs about cervical screening. RESULTS--Some reported attitudinal barriers to cervical cytology screening such as fear of cancer were not deterrents. Administrative and language barriers were more important, as were inadequate surgery premises and concerns about sterility. CONCLUSION--Contrary to popular belief among general practitioners in east London, women from ethnic minorities are enthusiastic about cervical cytology screening once they understand the purpose of the test and the call and recall procedures. It is possible to consult with community groups in their own language through focus group discussions, working with bilingual health advocates who have had a short practical training in facilitating small group discussions. This form of user consultation could be carried out focusing on other aspects of health promotion.
We conducted a focus group study to assess the influence of partner communication on breast and cervical cancer screening and the perceived existing and potential support from male partners in participating in cancer screening. Secondarily, Mexican male and female views on health care and cancer were explored.
Seven focus groups (two female-only, three male-only, and two couples) were conducted in Spanish.
Findings suggest that knowledge about cervical cancer was significantly less than knowledge about breast cancer among both men and women. Barriers to cancer screening included language barriers, lack of health insurance, and lack of awareness of the need for screening. Male partners expressed willingness to support their female partners in cancer screening activities.
Cervical cancer education is desperately needed, including education on the availability of free and low cost screening services. Education efforts should include the male community members, especially as the males perceive themselves as responsible for the financial burden of care.
Cervical cancer; Breast cancer; Screening; Mexican-American; Male involvement; Access to care
Treatment seeking delays among people living with HIV have adverse consequences for outcome. Gender differences in treatment outcomes have been observed in sub-Saharan Africa.
To better understand antiretroviral treatment (ART) seeking behaviour in HIV-infected adults in rural Malawi.
Qualitative interviews with male and female participants in an ART cohort study at a treatment site in rural northern Malawi triangulated with analysis of baseline clinical and demographic data for 365 individuals attending sequentially for ART screening between January 2008 and September 2009.
43% of the cohort presented with late stage HIV disease classified as WHO stage 3/4. Respondents reported that women's frequency of testing, health awareness and commitment to children led to earlier ART uptake and that men's commitment to wider social networks of influence, masculine ideals of strength, and success with sexual and marital partners led them to refuse treatment until they were sick. Quantitative analysis of the screening cohort provided supporting evidence for these expressed views. Overall, male gender (adjusted OR 2.3, 95% CI1.3–3.9) and never being married (adjusted OR 4.1, 95% CI1.5–11.5) were risk factors for late presentation, whereas having ≥3 dependent children was associated with earlier presentation (adjusted OR 0.31, 95% CI0.15–0.63),compared to those with no dependent children.
Gender-specific barriers and facilitators operate throughout the whole process of seeking care. Further efforts to enrol men into care earlier should focus on the masculine characteristics that they value, and the risks to these of severe health decline. Our results emphasise the value of exploring as well as identifying behavioural correlates of late presentation.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Partnerships between academic medical centers and faith-based community organizations have been associated with increased screening rates in low-income minority women. We describe clinical outcomes of an outreach partnership between a cancer center and a faith-based outreach clinic offering gynecologic screening services in central Florida to increase cervical cancer screening adherence in a priority population of primarily Hispanic farmworker women.
Data sources included a retrospective chart review. This descriptive study examined patterns of cervical cancer screening behavior among the patient population of the faith-based outreach clinic.
Findings suggest that among this group of patients, the demographic factors that predict adherence with cervical cancer screening recommendations are number of years having lived in the United States and marital status. Women residing in the United States for more than 5 years were significantly more adherent with cervical cancer screening recommendations compared with women who have resided in the United States for 5 years or less (p = .05), and married women were more likely to be adherent than unmarried women (p = .02).
The partnership was successful in increasing cervical cancer screening adherence in this medically underserved population. When enabling barriers to screening adherence are removed through faith-based clinical outreach and engaged continuously for a number of years, uninsured, low-income Hispanic women are more likely to receive recommended preventive services.
medically underserved; cancer screening; community outreach; farmworkers; Hispanics
Cervical cancer screening is an effective method for reducing the incidence and mortality of cervical cancer, but the screening attendance rate in developing countries is far from satisfactory, especially in rural areas. Wufeng is a region of high cervical cancer incidence in China. This study aimed to investigate the issues that concern cervical cancer and screening and the factors that affect women’s willingness to undergo cervical cancer screening in the Wufeng area.
Participants and Methods
A cross-sectional survey of women was conducted to determine their knowledge about cervical cancer and screening, demographic characteristics and the barriers to screening.
Women who were willing to undergo screenings had higher knowledge levels. “Anxious feeling once the disease was diagnosed” (47.6%), “No symptoms/discomfort” (34.1%) and “Do not know the benefits of cervical cancer screening” (13.4%) were the top three reasons for refusing cervical cancer screening. Women who were younger than 45 years old or who had lower incomes, positive family histories of cancer, secondary or higher levels of education, higher levels of knowledge and fewer barriers to screening were more willing to participate in cervical cancer screenings than women without these characteristics.
Efforts are needed to increase women’s knowledge about cervical cancer, especially the screening methods, and to improve their perceptions of the screening process for early detection to reduce cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates.
There is great interest in providing primary eye care (PEC) through integration into primary health care (PHC). However, there is little evidence of the productivity of PHC workers in offering primary eye care after training and integration, and there is need to compare their effectiveness to alternative methods. The current study compared the effectiveness of trained Health Surveillance Assistants (HSAs) versus trained volunteer Key Informants (KIs) in identifying blind children in southern Malawi.
A cluster community based study was conducted in Mulanje district, population 435 753. Six clusters each with a population of approximately 70 000 to 80 000, 42% of whom were children were identified and randomly allocated to either HSA or KI training. From each cluster 20 HSAs or 20 KIs were selected for training. Training emphasized the causes of blindness in children and their management, and how to identify and list children suspected of being blind. HSAs and KIs used multiple methods (door to door, school screening, health education talks, village announcements, etc.) to identify children. Using the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates (eight blind children per 10 000 children); approximately 144 to 162 blind children were expected in the chosen clusters. Listed children were brought to a centre within the community where they were examined by an ophthalmologist and findings recorded using the WHO form for examining blindness in children.
A total of 59 HSAs and 64 KIs were trained. HSAs identified five children of whom two were confirmed as blind (one blind child per 29.5 HSAs trained). On the other hand, the KIs identified a total of 158 children of whom 20 were confirmed blind (one blind child per 3.2 KIs trained). More blind boys than girls were identified (77.3% versus 22.7%) respectively.
Key Informants were much better at identifying blind children than HSAs, even though both groups identified far fewer blind children compared with WHO estimates. HSAs reported lack of time as a major constraint in identifying blind children. Based on these findings using HSAs for identifying blind children would not be successful in Malawi. Gender differences need to be addressed in all childhood blindness programs to counteract the imbalance.
Key informants; Health Surveillance Assistants; Primary eye care; Blindness; Children; Malawi; Community
Cervical cancer is the most common female cancer in Uganda. Over 80% of women diagnosed or referred with cervical cancer in Mulago national referral and teaching hospital have advanced disease. Plans are underway for systematic screening programmes based on visual inspection, as Pap smear screening is not feasible for this low resource country. Effectiveness of population screening programmes requires high uptake and for cervical cancer, minimal loss to follow up. Uganda has poor indicators of reproductive health (RH) services uptake; 10% postnatal care attendance, 23% contraceptive prevalence, and 38% skilled attendance at delivery. For antenatal attendance, attendance to one visit is 90%, but less than 50% for completion of care, i.e. three or more visits.
We conducted a qualitative study using eight focus group discussions with a total of 82 participants (16 men, 46 women and 20 health workers). We aimed to better understand factors that influence usage of available reproductive health care services and how they would relate to cervical cancer screening, as well as identify feasible interventions to improve cervical cancer screening uptake.
Barriers identified after framework analysis included ignorance about cervical cancer, cultural constructs/beliefs about the illness, economic factors, domestic gender power relations, alternative authoritative sources of reproductive health knowledge, and unfriendly health care services. We discuss how these findings may inform future planned screening programmes in the Ugandan context.
Knowledge about cervical cancer among Ugandan women is very low. For an effective cervical cancer-screening programme, awareness about cervical cancer needs to be increased. Health planners need to note the power of the various authoritative sources of reproductive health knowledge such as paternal aunts (Sengas) and involve them in the awareness campaign. Cultural and economic issues dictate the perceived reluctance by men to participate in women's reproductive health issues; men in this community are, however, potential willing partners if appropriately informed. Health planners should address the loss of confidence in current health care units, as well as consider use of other cervical cancer screening delivery systems such as mobile clinics/camps.
Cervical cancer is an important health problem in women living in developing countries. Infection with some genotypes of human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most important risk factor associated with cervical cancer. Little information exists about HPV genotype distribution in rural and suburban regions of Mexico. Thus, we determined the prevalence of HPV genotypes in women from Tlaxcala, one of the poorest states in central Mexico, and we evaluated age infection prevalence and risk factors associated with cervical neoplasm. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 236 women seeking gynecological care at the Mexican Institute for Social Security in Tlaxcala, Mexico. Cervical scrapings were diagnosed as normal, low-grade, and high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LGSIL, HGSIL). Parallel samples were used to detect HPV genotypes by PCR assays using type-specific primers for HPV 6, 11, 16, 18, and 31. An epidemiological questionnaire was applied. Prevalence of HPV infection was 31.3%. From the infected samples, prevalence of HPV 16 was 45.9%; HPV 18, 31.1%; HPV 31, 16.2%; HPV 6, 10.8%; HPV 11, 6.7%. With regard to age, the highest HPV prevalence (43.5%) was found in the 18- to 24-year-old group and the lowest (19%) in the 45- to 54-year-old group. None of the risk factors showed association with cervical neoplasia grade. HPV 16 was the most common in cervical lesions. HPV was present in 22% of normal samples and, of these, 82.6% represented high-risk HPVs. Tlaxcala showed HPV prevalence comparable to that of the largest cities in Mexico, with higher prevalence for HPV 31.
Epidemiology; Human papillomavirus; Mexico; PCR; Squamous intraepithelial lesions
Low rates of breast and cervical cancer screening among Hmong women have been documented. Mistrust of Western medicine and the health care system, as well as experiences of discrimination in health care, may be barriers to seeking health care for this population. In this study, we explored medical mistrust among Hmong women and men, their experiences with discrimination in health care, and how these factors may influence Hmong women’s breast and cervical cancer screening behavior. We conducted semi-structured, in-depth interviews with women and men who were members of the Hmong community in Oregon. Transcripts of 83 interviews were analyzed using content analysis. Despite personally trusting Western medicine and the health care system, participants shared reasons that some Hmong people feel mistrust including lack of understanding or familiarity, culture, and tradition. Although mistrust was thought to result in delaying or avoiding breast or cervical cancer screening, more frequently trust was described as positively influencing screening. In addition, few participants reported being treated differently during breast or cervical cancer screening because they were Hmong. When discussing health care more broadly, however, some participants described differential (e.g., disrespectful or rude) treatment. Such experiences led to feelings such as anger and sadness and affected behavior, including willingness to seek care and choice of provider. Medical mistrust and perceived discrimination were not major barriers to breast and cervical cancer screening in this study. Additional studies are needed to assess whether our findings reflect the experiences of other Hmong.
mistrust; discrimination; Hmong; cancer screening
Invasive cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women worldwide, with approximately 85% of the disease burden occurring in developing countries. To date, there have been few systematic efforts to document African women's conceptualization of cervical cancer after participation in a visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA)-based “see and treat” cervical cancer prevention program. In this study, conducted between September, 2009-July, 2010, focus groups and in-depth interviews were conducted with 60 women who had recently undergone cervical cancer screening at a government-operated primary health care clinic in Lusaka, Zambia. Interviewers elicited participants' causal representations of cervical cancer, associated physical signs and symptoms, perceived physical and psychological effects, and social norms regarding the disease. The lay model of illness causation portrayed by participants after recent exposure to program promotion messages departed in several ways from causal models described in other parts of the world. However, causal conceptualizations included both lay and biomedical elements, suggesting a possible shift from a purely traditional causal model to one that incorporates both traditional concepts and recently promoted biomedical concepts. Most, but not all, women still equated cervical cancer with death, and perceived it to be a highly stigmatized disease in Zambia because of its anatomic location, dire natural course, connections to socially-condemned behaviors, and association with HIV/AIDS. No substantive differences of disease conceptualization existed according to HIV serostatus, though HIV positive women acknowledged that their immune status makes them more aware of their health and more likely to seek medical attention. Further attention should be dedicated to the processes by which women incorporate new knowledge into their representations of cervical cancer.
Zambia; cervical cancer; mass screening; HIV; social representations; access to care; retention into care; women; stigma
Cervical cancer remains a devastating disease in Kenya accounting for more than 2000 deaths each year. Lack of information on cervical cancer prevention and management has been attributed to the apathy among women in seeking health interventions. Use of internet-based and mobile e-health tools could increase information access among cervical cancer patients. The objective of the study was; to establish the extent of use of mobile phones and internet by cervical cancer patients in accessing information related to cancer treatment and management.; find out the characteristics of patients associated with internet use and identify barriers faced by the patients in internet use. A cross sectional descriptive survey of 199 cervical patients visiting the two main referral hospitals in Kenya was done. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data.
The average length of illness was 2.43 years (SD ± 3.0). Only 7.5 %( n=15) reported to having used the internet as a source of information. 92.5 %( n=184) did not use internet. With Multiple options, 70.9% did not know how to use a computer, 29.2% did not have access to a computer, 14.6% lacked the money to use computers at the local cyber cafe while other barriers identified accounted for 11.1%. Patients reported that the internet had an important role in the management of cancer of the cervix in health education (17.6%), online consultation (14.6%), booking of patients (13.6%), referrals (8.5%) and collecting data (7%). The 96.5% of the respondents who had access to a mobile phone, recommended mobile phones for health education messages (31.7%), reminder alerts for medication (29.7%) and booking appointments (21.6%). There was a statistically significant association between income of the patients and internet use (p = 0.026) in this study.
There is low level use of the internet by cervical cancer clients attended in Public referral facilities in Kenya. This was attributed to; lack of knowledge on how to use computers and lack of access to a computer. High level of access to mobile phones was reported. This is an indicator of great potential for use of mobile phones in the management of cervical cancer through short messaging services (sms), without internet connectivity. There is even greater potential to internet use through web access via mobile phones.
Internet use; Cervical cancer; E-health; Mobile phones; Kenya
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women in Sudan, with more than two-thirds of all women with invasive cervical cancer being diagnosed at an advanced stage (stages III and IV). The lack of a screening program for cervical cancer in Sudan may contribute to the late presentation of this cancer, but other factors potentially associated with advanced stages of cervical cancer at diagnosis are unknown. The purpose of this research was to investigate the relationship between age, marital status, ethnicity, health insurance coverage, residence in an urban vs a rural setting, and stage (at diagnosis) of cervical cancer in Sudan.
This was a cross sectional study of 197 women diagnosed with different stages of cervical cancer. Data was obtained from the cancer registry unit at the Radiation and Isotopes Centre in Khartoum for all women diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2007.
There was an association between older age and advanced stage (at diagnosis) of cervical cancer (odds ratio [OR]: 1.03, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.01–1.05). Being of African ethnicity was associated with 76% increased odds (OR: 1.76, 95% CI: 1.01–3.05), living in a rural area was associated with 13% increased odds (OR: 1.13, 95% CI: 1.78–5.50), and being uninsured was associated with an almost eight-fold increase in odds (OR: 7.7, 95% CI: 3.76–15.38). Marital status and education level were not associated with an advanced stage of cervical cancer at diagnosis.
Women with cervical cancer who are elderly, not covered by health insurance, of African ethnicity, and living in a rural area are more likely to be diagnosed at an advanced stage of cervical cancer in Sudan. These women should be targeted for cervical cancer screening and a health education program, and encouraged to have health insurance.
predictors; cervical cancer; diagnosis; advanced; health insurance; Sudan
Cervical cancer is one of the ten most frequent cancers in Turkey. It is well known that cervical cancer morbidity and mortality could be significantly reduced with an active cervical smear screening (Pap smear) program.
The aims of this study were: 1) to evaluate the knowledge and attitudes of women about cervical smear testing; 2) to establish a cervical smear screening program and to evaluate the cervical cytological abnormalities that were found; 3) to determine the applicability, limitations and effectiveness of this screening in a primary health care unit.
Patients and Methods:
A total of 332 married women were included in our study. We collected data concerning socio-demographic and fertility characteristics, and knowledge about Pap smear testing was determined through printed questionnaires. A gynecological examination and Pap smear screening was performed on every woman in our study group.
Over ninety percent of our study group had never heard of and had not undergone Pap smear screening before. Of the 332 smears evaluated, 328 (98.8%) were accepted as normal, whereas epithelial cell anomalies were seen in 4 (1.2%), infection in 59 (17.7%), and reactive cell differences in 223 (67.2%) of the smears.
The frequency of epithelial cell anomalies in our study group was less than the frequencies reported from Western countries. Knowledge regarding cervical cancer and Pap smear screening was very low. Pap smears can be easily taken and evaluated through a chain built between the primary health care unit and laboratory, and this kind of screening intervention is easily accepted by the population served.
Cervical smear; cervical intraepithelial lesion; cervical cancer screening
Cervical cancer screening has been consistently shown to be effective in reducing the incidence rate and mortality from cervical cancer. However, cervical screening attendance rates are still far from satisfactory in many countries. Strategies, health promotion and education programs need to be developed with clear evidence of the causes and factors relating to the low attendance rate. The study aims to assess the prediction of cervical screening attendance rate by Chinese women’s knowledge about cervical cancer and cervical screening as well as their perception of health.
Patients and methods:
A survey with self-reported questionnaires was conducted on 385 Chinese women recruited from a community clinic in Hong Kong. Participants were Chinese women, Hong Kong residents, aged 18–65 years, able to read Chinese or English, and were not pregnant.
Women aged 37 years or less, with at least tertiary education, who perceived having control over their own health and had better knowledge on risk factors, were more likely to attend cervical cancer screening. Many participants had adequate general knowledge but were unable to identify correct answers on the risk factors.
Health promotion efforts need to focus on increasing women’s knowledge on risk factors and enhancing their perceived health control by providing more information on the link between screening and early detection with lower incidence rates and mortality from cervical cancer.
cervical screening attendance; cervical cancer; health perception and knowledge; perceived health control; Chinese
Objective. Vietnamese American women are at the greatest risk for cervical cancer but have the lowest cervical cancer screening rates. This study was to determine whether demographic and acculturation, healthcare access, and knowledge and beliefs are associated with a prior history of cervical cancer screening among Vietnamese women. Methods. Vietnamese women (n = 1450) from 30 Vietnamese community-based organizations located in Pennsylvania and New Jersey participated in the study and completed baseline assessments. Logistic regression analyses were performed. Results. Overall levels of knowledge about cervical cancer screening and human papillomavirus (HPV) are low. Factors in knowledge, attitude, and beliefs domains were significantly associated with Pap test behavior. In multivariate analyses, physician recommendation for screening and having health insurance were positively associated with prior screening. Conclusion. Understanding the factors that are associated with cervical cancer screening will inform the development of culturally appropriate intervention strategies that would potentially lead to increasing cervical cancer screening rates among Vietnamese women.
Cervical cancer is the commonest malignancy among women in developing countries. Cytological screening (Pap smear) have been claimed to reduce incidence and mortality of carcinoma cervix significantly for which sensitization of women is required through community-based approach.
To find out number of cervical cancer cases among patients reporting to a general health care camp through screening program and study the prevalence of perceived morbidity and its confirmation.
Cross-sectional study among women attending cancer awareness camps.
Materials and Methods:
A total of 435 women attending cancer awareness camps were screened for carcinoma cervix. The findings of history and clinical examination were recorded. Pap smears of all the symptomatic patients were collected and cytological diagnosis was confirmed by a pathologist.
Results and Conclusions:
The perceived gynecological morbidity was observed to be 59.8%. The smear of the women who were suspected of carcinoma on clinical examination was confirmed to be the cases of carcinoma-in-situ (7.8%) and high-grade neoplasia (2.9%) on laboratory investigations. The findings of the study highlight the utility and need of cancer cervix screening among the women at regular intervals through camp approach in the community.
Camp approach; cancer cervix; community-based; screening
Background: The prevalence of cervical cancer is extremely high in low income countries, primarily because of a lack of cytological screening. The link between human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer has long been recognised, and it has been suggested that isolated HPV testing in women who do not participate in existing screening programmes may be used to identify women at higher risk of developing cervical cancer. This community based study compares two self administered techniques for detecting HPV (tampons and self administered swabs) with a clinician directed technique, the cervical cytobrush.
Methods: 377 rural women were interviewed and of these 210 women had full gynaecological examination, and accepted all three sampling methods for HPV. HPV typing of DNA extracts was performed using polymerase chain reaction and enzyme linked immunosorbent assay techniques.
Results: Using the cervical cytobrush as the gold standard, self administered swabs (SAS) showed a sensitivity of 63.9%, and tampons showed a sensitivity of 72.4%. The acceptability of these two tests was 97.1% and 84.6% respectively. When combining acceptability with sensitivity, the SAS detected 61.9% and the tampons detected 60.9% of the true positives.
Conclusion: In a setting where women are at a considerable risk of developing cervical cancer, with no access to a formal screening programme, self directed HPV testing could be a useful screening tool in identifying those women at increased risk who may require further investigation.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recently recommended that cervical cancer screening begin at 21 years of age and occur biennially for low-risk women younger than 30 years. Earlier studies suggested that women may have limited understanding of the differences between cervical cancer screening and chlamydia screening. This study assessed the knowledge of chlamydia and cervical cancer screening tests and schedules in younger women.
A survey regarding knowledge of chlamydia and cervical cancer screening was administered to 60 younger women aged 18–25 years in an obstetrics and gynaecology clinic at an urban community health centre.
The majority of respondents recalled having had a Pap smear (93.3%) or chlamydia test (75.0%). Although many respondents understood that a Pap smear checks for cervical cancer (88.3%) and human papillomavirus (68.3%), 71.7% mistakenly believed that a Pap smear screens for chlamydia. No respondent correctly identified the revised cervical cancer screening schedule, and 83.3% selected annual screening. Few respondents (23.3%) identified the annual chlamydia screening schedule and 26.7% were unsure.
Many younger women in an urban community health centre believed that cervical cancer screening also screens for chlamydia and were confused about chlamydia screening schedules. As there is limited knowledge of the revised ACOG cervical cancer screening guidelines, there is a risk that currently low chlamydia screening rates may decrease further after these new guidelines are better known. Obstetrician gynaecologists and primary care providers should educate younger women about the differences between chlamydia and cervical cancer screening and encourage sexually active younger women to have annual chlamydia screening.
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.
Cervical cancer is the sixth most common cause of cancer among Korean women and is one of the most preventable cancers in the world. This study aimed to investigate the change in cervical cancer screening rates, the level of socioeconomic disparities in cervical cancer screening participation, and whether there was a reduction in these disparities between 1998 and 2010.
Using the Korean Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, women 30 years or older without a history of cervical cancer and who completed a health questionnaire, physical examination, and nutritional survey were included (n = 17,105). Information about participation in cervical cancer screening was collected using a self-administered questionnaire. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to investigate the relationship between cervical cancer screening participation and the socioeconomic status of the women.
The cervical cancer screening rate increased from 40.5% in 1998 to 52.5% in 2010. Socioeconomic disparities influenced participation, and women with lower educational levels and lower household income were less likely to be screened. Compared with the lowest educational level, the adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for screening in women with the highest educational level were 1.56 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.05–2.30) in 1998, and 1.44 (95% CI: 1.12–1.87) in 2010. Compared with women with the lowest household income level, the adjusted ORs for screening in women with the highest household income level were 1.80 (95% CI: 1.22–2.68), 2.82 (95% CI: 2.01–3.96), and 1.45 (95% CI: 1.08–1.94) in 2001, 2005, and 2010, respectively.
Although population-wide progress has been made in participation in cervical cancer screening over the 12-year period, socioeconomic status remained an important factor in reducing compliance with cancer screening.
Cervical cancer; Screening; Socioeconomic status; Disparity
OBJECTIVE: To review the role of family physicians in screening for cancer of the cervix, to review the evidence for screening, in particular, frequency and technique for screening, and to review the reasons cervical cancer has not been prevented and the role of family physicians in addressing these failures. QUALITY OF EVIDENCE: The value of screening has been established with level II evidence. Many of the unresolved issues are not supported either way by good evidence; level II and III evidence predominates. MAIN FINDINGS: In Canada, 1350 women were predicted to be diagnosed with cancer of the cervix in 1996. Most of these women had not been screened. Minority, rural, low-income, and older women face important barriers to screening. Family physicians have a role in reaching out to these women to provide effective health care, including cancer screening. When cancer screening is performed, it should conform to recommended techniques with appropriate follow up of abnormal test results. CONCLUSIONS: Family physicians have an important role in preventing cancer of the cervix. Efforts should be concentrated on encouraging a greater proportion of eligible women to be screened. Criteria are suggested for effective screening.
To assess the risk factors of cervical cancer and the feasibility and acceptability of a visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) screening method in a primary health center in Khartoum, Sudan.
A cross-sectional prospective pilot study of 100 asymptomatic women living in Khartoum State in Sudan was carried out from December 2008 to January 2009. The study was performed at the screening center in Khartoum. Six nurses and two physicians were trained by a gynecologic oncologist. The patients underwent a complete gynecological examination and filled in a questionnaire on risk factors and feasibility and acceptability. They were screened for cervical cancer by application of 3%–5% VIA. Women with a positive test were referred for colposcopy and treatment.
Sixteen percent of screened women were tested positive. Statistically significant associations were observed between being positive with VIA test and the following variables: uterine cervix laceration (odds ratio [OR] 18.6; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 4.64–74.8), assisted vaginal delivery (OR 13.2; 95% CI: 2.95–54.9), parity (OR 5.78; 95% CI: 1.41–23.7), female genital mutilation (OR 4.78; 95% CI: 1.13–20.1), and episiotomy (OR 5.25; 95% CI: 1.15–23.8). All these associations remained statistically significant after adjusting for age, educational level, employment, and potential confounding factors such as smoking, number of sexual partners, and use of contraceptive method. Furthermore, the VIA screening method was found to be feasible and acceptable to participants.
This pilot study showed that women who have uterine cervix laceration, assisted vaginal delivery, female genital mutilation, or episiotomy are at an increased risk of cervical cancer. It also showed that VIA is a feasible and acceptable cervical cancer screening method in a primary health care setting.
cervical cancer; screening; visual inspection; acetic acid; feasibility