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Barriers to Cervical Screening among Pacific Women in a New Zealand Urban Population

  • Foliaki, Sunia (Centre for Public Health Research, Massey University) ;
  • Matheson, Anna (Centre for Public Health Research, Massey University)
  • Published : 2015.03.09

Abstract

Background: In Aotearoa/New Zealand cervical screening programmes have reduced cervical cancer; however, half of cervical cancer cases among Pacific women are found among clients who had not attended cervical screening. Hence, we set out to determine health provider perspectives on barriers that prevent their services reaching Pacific women within Aotearoa/New Zealand. Materials and Methods: Twenty semi-structured interviews were conducted with health care providers, Pap smear takers and community workers in the Wellington region. Participants were asked their views on factors that enabled and/or constrained the participation of Pacific women in their cervical screening services. Results: Six interrelated themes influencing participation in cervical screening among Pacific women in the Wellington region were apparent: the funding and practice of service delivery; family always coming first; the cost of screening services; type of employment; the appropriateness of information; and attitudes to self and screening. Conclusions: Determining specific ethnic group actual health needs and meeting them contributes to overall improvement in New Zealand's health status. The results identified the need for improvements to the delivery of screening services including adapting cervical screening services to the requirements of Pacific women through more outreach services at alternate clinic hours; culturally appropriate practitioners; the ability to take up opportunities for health checks and foster long-term relationships; as well as appropriate monitoring and evaluation of approaches. Funding and reporting relationships also need to be compatible with the goal of improving outcomes for Pacific women. Further research into client voices for their particular needs to compliment the service provider perspective as well as minority groups is called for.

Keywords

Cervical cancer;screening;pacific women;Aotearoa/New Zealand

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