Trained community health promoters (i.e., promotoras) conducted home-based group educational interventions (home health parties) to educate Hispanic women from the Lower Yakima Valley of Washington state about breast cancer and mammography screening.
Women aged 40–79 participating in the parties completed baseline and follow-up surveys 6 months postintervention (n = 70). Changes in general cancer knowledge, breast cancer screening practices, and intentions to be screened among participants from baseline to follow-up were measured using McNemar's test for marginal homogeneity to evaluate the effectiveness of the parties.
The average age of the sample was 50.0 years (standard deviation [SD] 10.0), 84% reported less than an eighth grade education, and 54% were covered by the state's Basic Health Care Plan. Significant changes between baseline and follow-up were observed with respect to (1) believing that risk of cancer could not be reduced (41% vs. 15%, respectively, p = 0.001), (2) ever having a mammogram (83% vs. 91%, p = 0.014), (3) discussing a mammogram with a doctor (37% vs. 67%, p < 0.001), and (4) intending to have a mammogram within the next few months among women who did not report having a mammogram between baseline and follow-up (61% vs. 81%, p = 0.046).
Participation in home-based group educational interventions delivered by promotoras may be associated with improved breast cancer screening practices among Hispanic women.
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.
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.
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.
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.
cervical cancer; health disparities; community health worker; promotora
Cancer survivorship experiences were explored among Hispanic men and women with cancer and family members of cancer survivors, recruited from two rural Washington communities in the Lower Yakima Valley. Five focus groups were conducted from February 2006–October 2007 with 31 women and 10 men. Disbelief, fear, sadness, strength, courage, faith, and hope were common reactions to diagnosis. Concerns about family/children, losing medical coupons, and feelings of depression/isolation were identified as challenges faced after diagnosis. Participants identified smoking and environmental exposures as causes of cancer, but many believed operating on tumors caused cancer to spread. Participants used conventional treatments, but identified herbal/natural remedies as cures. Most participants reported negative experiences with physicians, and believed their community would benefit from language-appropriate information regarding prevention and treatment. The importance of linking survivors through support groups was emphasized and information elicited from sessions has been used to organize survivor support groups in these two communities.
cancer; survivorship; rural Hispanics
This study was undertaken to assess workplace hazards and protective practices among Hispanic men and women working post-harvest in asparagus, apple and pear packaging warehouses.
Three focus groups were conducted in July 2003 with 25 workers (20 women, 5 men) recruited from communities in the Yakima Valley, Washington. Focus group content informed the design of an in-person structured interview administered to 50 additional warehouse workers from August-November 2006.
Focus group participants reported difficult working conditions, exposure to chemicals, adverse health effects and use of work and home protective practices to minimize exposures for themselves and their families. Structured interview participants reported few workplace exposures to chemicals although many reported engaging in workplace and home protective practices.
Findings from this research can direct initial efforts to determine if and how interventions for warehouse workers may be designed to protect against hazardous workplace exposures.
Warehouse workers; rural Hispanics; chemical exposures; take-home exposures; protective practices
Cervical cancer screening rates among older Korean American (KA) women are much lower than the rates for younger KA women, even though the overall cancer screening rates in the population continue to have one of the lowest Papanicolaou (Pap) test adherence rates compared with non-Hispanic White women. Variables based on the Health Belief Model related to cervical cancer screening were compared by age group among KA women. A telephone survey was conducted with 189 KA women living in the midwestern United States. Perceived barriers to having a Pap test predicted the outcome variable of having had Pap tests in the preceding 3 years in older KA women who were 65 or older, but not in younger women who were between 40 and 64 years old. Having physical examinations without symptoms in the preceding 2 years predicted the outcome variable in both age groups. Intervention strategies for all KA women should focus on encouraging them to receive routine physical examinations. In addition, attempts should be made to reduce perception of barriers in older KA women to improve their cervical cancer screening behaviors.
cervical cancer; cancer beliefs; Pap tests; Korean American older women
High-quality cancer information resources are available but underutilized by the public. Despite greater awareness of the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Information Service among low-income African Americans and Hispanics compared with Caucasians, actual Cancer Information Service usage is lower than expected, paralleling excess cancer-related morbidity and mortality for these subgroups. The proposed research examines how to connect the Cancer Information Service to low-income African-American and Hispanic women and their health care providers. The study will examine whether targeted physician mailing to women scheduled for colposcopy to follow up an abnormal Pap test can increase calls to the Cancer Information Service, enhance appropriate medical follow-up, and improve satisfaction with provider-patient communication.
The study will be conducted in two clinics in ethnically diverse low-income communities in Chicago. During the formative phase, patients and providers will provide input regarding materials planned for use in the experimental phase of the study. The experimental phase will use a two-group prospective randomized controlled trial design. African American and Hispanic women with an abnormal Pap test will be randomized to Usual Care (routine colposcopy reminder letter) or Intervention (reminder plus provider recommendation to call the Cancer Information Service and sample questions to ask). Primary outcomes will be: 1) calls to the Cancer Information Service; 2) timely medical follow-up, operationalized by whether the patient keeps her colposcopy appointment within six months of the abnormal Pap; and 3) patient satisfaction with provider-patient communication at follow-up.
The study examines the effectiveness of a feasible, sustainable, and culturally sensitive strategy to increase awareness and use of the Cancer Information Service among an underserved population. The goal of linking a public service (the Cancer Information Service) with real-life settings of practice (the clinics), and considering input from patients, providers, and Cancer Information Service staff, is to ensure that the intervention, if proven effective, can be incorporated into existing care systems and sustained. The approach to study design and planning is aimed at bridging the gap between research and practice/service.
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
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer among Hispanics in the United States (US), yet the use of CRC screening is low in this population. Physician recommendation has consistently shown to improve CRC screening.
To identify the characteristics of Hispanic patients who adhere or do not adhere to their physician’s recommendation to have a screening colonoscopy.
A cross-sectional study featuring face-to-face interviews by culturally matched interviewers was conducted in primary healthcare clinics and community centers in New York City.
Four hundred Hispanic men and women aged 50 or older, at average risk for CRC, were interviewed. Two hundred and eighty (70%) reported receipt of a physician’s recommendation for screening colonoscopy and are included in this study.
Dependent variable: self report of having had screening colonoscopy. Independent variables: sociodemographics, healthcare and health promotion factors.
Of the 280 participants, 25% did not adhere to their physician’s recommendation. Factors found to be associated with non-adherence were younger age, being born in the US, preference for completing interviews in English, higher acculturation, and greater reported fear of colonoscopy testing. The source of colonoscopy recommendation (whether it came from their usual healthcare provider or not, and whether it occurred in a community or academic healthcare facility) for CRC screening was not associated with adherence.
This study indicates that potentially identifiable subgroups of Hispanics may be less likely to follow their physician recommendation to have a screening colonoscopy and thus may decrease their likelihood of an early diagnosis and prompt treatment. Raising physicians’ awareness to such patients’ characteristics could help them anticipate patients who may be less adherent and who may need additional encouragement to undergo screening colonoscopy.
colon cancer; colorectal cancer screening; Hispanics; physician recommendation; colonoscopy
During February–March 2006, elicitation interviews were conducted with 23 community stakeholders in the Yakima Valley, Washington State to examine concerns about diabetes and to obtain recommendations for how to address concerns among Hispanics in this rural community. Using a snowball approach, stakeholders were identified from organizations providing care/outreach for Hispanics with diabetes. Interviews were guided by a social ecology approach and were conducted as part of a larger parent study using principles of community based participatory research (CBPR). Audio-taped interviews were transcribed, then coded by 3 staff members who identified common themes independently before meeting to reach consensus. Stakeholders represented health care delivery or social service organizations, churches or local radio stations. Diabetes was perceived as an important problem among community members, who often underwent delayed diagnosis of the disease. Lack of disease knowledge, access to appropriate information/services, health insurance, and personal responsibility were perceived as barriers. Stakeholders recommended using exiting organizations and businesses as intervention channels, promoting cultural sensitivity of health professionals/volunteers, creating/distributing appropriate information, and organizing activities to promote awareness/disease-management. Recommendations have informed the design of community interventions to lessen the impact of diabetes in the Yakima Valley.
type 2 diabetes; rural Hispanics; community stakeholders; community based participatory research
Low literacy influences cervical cancer screening knowledge, and is a possible contributor to racial disparities in cervical cancer.
To examine the hypothesis that literacy predicts patient adherence to follow-up recommendations after an abnormal Pap smear.
A prospective, continuity clinic-based study.
From a sample of 538 women undergoing literacy testing at the time of Pap smear screening, we studied 68 women with abnormal Pap smear diagnoses.
Literacy was assessed using the Rapid Evaluation of Adult Literacy in Medicine (REALM). We also measured other proxies for literacy, including educational attainment and physician estimates of patients' literacy level. Outcome measures included on-time and 1-year follow-up and duration of time to follow-up after an abnormal Pap smear.
Only one-third of the cohort adhered to follow-up recommendations. At 1 year, 25% of the women had not returned at all. Patients with inadequate literacy (as assessed by the REALM) were less likely to follow up within 1 year, although this result was not statistically significant (adjusted odds ratio [OR]=3.8, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.8 to 17.4). Patients subjectively assessed by their physician to have low literacy skills were significantly less likely to follow up within 1 year (adjusted OR=14, 95% CI: 3 to 65). Less than high school education (hazard ratio (HR)= 2.3; 95% CI: 1.2, 4.6) and low physician-estimated literacy level (HR=3.4, 95% CI: 1.4, 8.2), but not objective literacy level, were significant predictors of duration of time to follow-up, adjusting for recommended days to follow-up and other factors.
Among women with an abnormal Pap smear, those perceived by their physician to have low literacy were significantly more likely to fail to present for follow-up.
literacy; Pap smear; cervical cancer; adherence; stereotype; disparities
Cervical cancer incidence and mortality continue to affect Hispanic women in the U.S. disproportionately. Our project sought to refine a cervical cancer intervention designed for use by community health workers, or promotoras, in rural southern Georgia. We collaborated with Hispanic promotoras to refine a Spanish language educational flipchart featuring cervical cancer topic areas for use in screening promotion.
Hispanics; cervical cancer; human papilloma virus; health education; community health worker; Latinas; promotora
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.
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.
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.
Culturally and linguistically appropriate interventions may improve Pap testing levels among Chinese women in North America.
Southeast Asian women have low levels of Papanicolaou (Pap) testing participation. We conducted a group-randomized controlled trial to evaluate a cervical cancer screening intervention program targeting Seattle’s Cambodian refugee community.
Women who completed a baseline, community-based survey were eligible for the trial. Neighborhoods were the unit of randomization. Three hundred and seventy survey participants living in 17 neighborhoods were randomized to intervention or control status. Intervention group women received home visits by outreach workers and were invited to group meetings in neighborhood settings. The primary outcome measure was self-reported Pap testing in the year prior to completing a follow-up survey.
The proportion of women in the intervention group reporting recent cervical cancer screening increased from 44% at baseline to 61% at follow-up (+17%). The corresponding proportions among the control group were 51 and 62% (+11%). These temporal increases were statistically significant in both the intervention (P < 0.001) and control (P = 0.027) groups.
This study was unable to document an increase in Pap testing use specifically in the neighborhood-based outreach intervention group; rather, we found an increase in both intervention and control groups. A general awareness of the project among women and their health care providers as well as other ongoing cervical cancer screening promotional efforts may all have contributed to increases in Pap testing rates.
Cambodian Americans; Pap testing; Outreach
U.S., Hispanic women have higher cervical cancer incidence rates than non-Hispanic Whites and African Americans and lower rates of cervical cancer screening. Knowledge, attitudes, and cultural beliefs may play a role in higher rates of infection of HPV and decisions about subsequent diagnosis and treatment of cervical cancer.
To explore the level of HPV knowledge, attitudes, and cultural beliefs among Hispanic men and women on the Texas-Mexico border.
Informed by feminist ethnography, the authors used an interpretive approach to understand local respondents' concerns and interests. Focus group sessions were analyzed using thematic content analysis.
Recruitment and sample
Promotoras (lay health workers) recruited participants using convenience sampling methods. Group sessions were held in public service centers in Brownsville. Participants' ages ranged from 19 to 76 years.
Focus group discussions were audio-recorded and transcribed in Spanish. Researchers read and discussed all the transcripts and generated a coding list. Transcripts were coded using ATLAS.ti 5.0.
Participants had little understanding about HPV and its role in the etiology of cervical cancer. Attitudes and concerns differed by gender. Women interpreted a diagnosis of HPV as a diagnosis of cancer and expressed fatalistic beliefs about its treatment. Men initially interpreted a diagnosis of HPV as an indication of their partners' infidelity, but after reflecting upon the ambiguity of HPV transmission, attributed their initial reaction to cultural ideals of machismo. Men ultimately were interested in helping their partners seek care in the event of a positive diagnosis.
Implications for practice
Results suggest that understanding Hispanics' cultural norms and values concerning disease, sexuality, and gender is essential to the design and implementation of preventive interventions for HPV and cervical cancer.
qualitative; focus groups; Texas-Mexico border; HPV; cervical cancer; Pap test; Hispanics; Latinos; fatalism; machismo; cultural beliefs
Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among Hispanic women in the United States. Unfortunately Hispanic women exhibit poor mammography screening participation, are diagnosed at later stages of the disease, and have lower survival rates than non-Hispanic white women. Several cultural and psycho-social factors have been found to influence mammography screening participation among Hispanic women. We will begin by presenting the theoretical framework that grounded this research program to develop an instrument to assess factors contributing to poor mammography participation among Hispanic women. We will also summarize the early stages in the development of the English and Spanish Mammography Beliefs and Attitudes Questionnaire (MBAQ and SMBAQ) for use with low-health-literacy Mexican-American women. Next we will describe the initial psychometric testing of the MBAQ/SMBAQ, after which we will present the psychometric testing of the SMBAQ with low-health-literacy women. This will be followed by a discussion of the modification of the MBAQ and SMBAQ subscales. We’ll conclude with a discussion of the instruments and share our assessment regarding the limitations of this research program, where the program stands to date, and the implications for practice and future research.
breast cancer; instrument development for low-health-literacy individuals; theory of planned behavior applied to mammography screening; Spanish translation; cultural adaptation of health-related instruments
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cervical cancer; Immigrants; Pap testing; Vietnamese
OBJECTIVE: To determine Pap smear screening rates among urban First Nations women in British Columbia; to identify facilitators and barriers; and to develop, implement, and evaluate specific interventions to improve Pap smear screening in Vancouver. DESIGN: Computer records of band membership lists and the Cervical Cytology Screening Program registry were compared to determine screening rates; personal interviews and community meetings identified facilitators and barriers to urban screening programs. A community advisory committee and the project team collaborated on developing specific interventions. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Purposive sample of British Columbia First Nations women, focusing on women living in Vancouver. INTERVENTIONS: Poster, art card, and follow-up pamphlet campaign; articles in First Nations community papers; community meetings; and Pap smear screening clinics for First Nations women. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Pap smear screening rates among BC First Nations women according to residence and reasons for not receiving Pap smears. RESULTS: Pap smear screening rates were substantially lower among First Nations women than among other British Columbia women; older women had even lower rates. No clear differences were found among First Nations women residing on reserves, residing in Vancouver, or residing off reserves elsewhere in British Columbia. Facilitators and barriers to screening were similar among women residing on reserves and in Vancouver. Many First Nations women are greatly affected by health care providers' attitudes, abilities to provide clear information, and abilities to establish trusting relationships. CONCLUSIONS: Family physicians are an important source of information and motivation for Pap smear screening among First Nations women.
The evaluation for Celebremos La Salud, a community randomized trial of Hispanic cancer prevention found no differences in mammography screening rates between intervention and control communities. The goal of the present study was to determine reasons for the intervention’s lack of effectiveness. In the first aim, we assessed reach of the intervention. In the second, we assessed which intervention activities were associated with mammography use. In the third, we examined whether factors related to health care access, education level, or age modified the effect of the intervention. Data were used from a post-intervention survey of 20 rural communities in Washington State. Hispanic (N= 202) and non-Hispanic White (N= 389) women, over age 40 formed the sample. Reporting having awareness of or having participated in intervention activities was positively associated with Hispanic ethnicity and intervention group and negatively associated with lack of health insurance and having a lower education level. Only one intervention activity was associated with screening use. Having participated in presentations at organizations was positively associated with having had a mammogram in the previous two years for Hispanic women. No individual level modifiers influenced the intervention’s effectiveness. Heavily targeting the intervention to Hispanic women and not reaching as many White women may have contributed to the lack of intervention effect. Increasing mammography screening rates among women living in a rural area may require improved access to health care and reaching women with lower education levels and lack of health insurance.
Community-based intervention; Mammography; Hispanic; Mexican; Rural
Hispanics are the largest and fastest growing ethnic minority group in the United States and breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Hispanic women. However, Hispanics are underrepresented in the psychosocial breast cancer literature.
This study included 677 low-income women (425 Hispanic, 252 non-Hispanic White) enrolled in the Medi-Cal Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program. Data were gathered through phone interviews conducted in English or Spanish 6 and 18 months following breast cancer diagnosis. We focus on three variables that the literature indicates are salient for breast cancer survivors, sexual function, body image and depression.
Results of an ANCOVA indicated worse sexual function for Hispanic women, even after controlling for significant covariates. Hispanics reported significantly less sexual desire, greater difficulty relaxing and enjoying sex, and greater difficulty becoming sexually aroused and having orgasms than non-Hispanic White women. Both Hispanic and non-Hispanic White women endorsed a lack of sexual desire more frequently than problems with sexual function. Body image did not differ between Hispanic and non-Hispanic White women. 38% of Hispanic and 48% of non-Hispanic White women scored above cut-off scores for depressive symptoms. While there was no ethnic difference in depressive symptoms, single women reported more depressive symptoms than partnered women.
Findings suggest that low-income breast cancer survivors may experience symptoms of depression more than a year following diagnosis, and that sexual dysfunction may be particularly salient for low-income Hispanic women.
Breast cancer; Oncology; Hispanic Americans; Poverty; Depression; Psychosexual Dysfunctions
In 2000, the REACH Boston 2010 Breast and Cervical Cancer Coalition conducted a community needs assessment and found several factors that may have contributed to disproportionately high breast and cervical cancer mortality among black women: (a) Focus group participants reported that many women in their communities had limited awareness about risk factors for cancer as well as about screening. (b) Black women experienced barriers to care related to the cultural competence of providers and of institutions. (c) Black women were not receiving adequate follow-up for abnormal mammograms and Pap smears. The Coalition's Community Action Plan to address disparities includes a model primary care service for black women; scholarships to increase the number of black mammogram technologists; primary care provider and radiology technologist training about disparities and cultural competence; and education to increase awareness among black women and to increase leadership and advocacy skills.
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.
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.
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.
Racial and ethnic disparities in cervical cancer screening have been attributed to socioeconomic, insurance, and cultural differences. Our objective was to explore racial and ethnic differences in adherence to cervical cancer screening recommendations among female post-graduate physicians.
We conducted a cross-sectional survey at one university hospital among a convenience sample of 204 female post-graduate physicians (52% of all potential participants), examining adherence to United States Preventive Services Task Force cervical cancer screening recommendations, perception of adherence to recommendations, and barriers to obtaining care.
Overall, 83% of women were adherent to screening recommendations and 84% accurately perceived adherence or non-adherence. Women who self-identified as Asian were significantly less adherent when compared with women who self-identified as white (69% vs. 87%; Relative Risk [RR] = 0.79, 95% Confidence Interval [CI], 0.64–0.97; P < 0.01). Women who self-identified as East Indian were significantly less likely to accurately perceive adherence or non-adherence when compared to women who self-identified as white (64% vs. 88%; RR = 0.73, 95% CI, 0.49–1.09, P = 0.04). Women who self-identified as Asian were significantly more likely to report any barrier to obtaining care when compared with women who self-identified as white (60% vs. 35%; RR = 1.75, 95% CI, 1.24–2.47; P = 0.001) and there was a non-significant tendency toward women who self-identified as East Indian being more likely to report any barrier to obtaining care when compared with women who self-identified as white (60% vs. 34%; RR = 1.74, 95% CI, 1.06–2.83; P = 0.06).
Among a small group of insured, highly-educated physicians who have access to health care, we found racial and ethnic differences in adherence to cervical cancer screening recommendations, suggesting that culture may play a role in cervical cancer screening.
To determine if the level of cultural adaptation (acculturation) of Hispanic women is associated with increased sexual risk behaviors and cervical cytological abnormalities.
Hispanic women 18 to 55 years of age (mean = 30.5 ± 8.32) underwent routine Papanicoulaou (Pap) testing and completed a comprehensive survey (N=3149). Acculturation (cultural adaptation) was measured using the Short Acculturation Scale for Hispanics. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was employed to test a mediation model.
Highly acculturated women engaged in a greater number of sexual risk behaviors and were more likely to have an abnormal Pap test when compared to less acculturated Hispanic women (p < .001).
Acculturation is related to sexual risk taking and abnormal cervical cytology. Determination of acculturation level as part of culturally competent healthcare will aid in tailoring patient communication and counseling on the prevention of cervical cancer among Hispanic women.
Hispanic women; Pap test; acculturation; cervical cytology; sexual risk behavior