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Women Health. 2015;55(5):566-79. doi: 10.1080/03630242.2015.1022816. Epub 2015 Apr 2.

Knowledge and Attitudes of Cervical Cancer Screening Among Caribbean Women: A Qualitative Interview Study From Barbados.

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a Public Health Group, Faculty of Medical Sciences , University of the West Indies , Cave Hill Campus, Bridgetown , Barbados.


The purpose of this study was to explore Barbadian women's attitudes toward and knowledge of routine cervical cancer screening (Pap tests). We conducted semi-structured individual interviews with fourteen female patients between the ages of 20 and 60 years who attended a selected public clinic in Barbados in May and June 2013. Interviews were audio-recorded with participants' consent. The interviews were then transcribed verbatim and, using thematic content analysis, indexed and coded inductively for emerging similar themes. We identified four themes: (1) women had poor knowledge of the purpose of Pap tests. The most frequently occurring misconception was that the test was for the detection of sexually transmitted infections. (2) The women displayed limited cervical cancer awareness. (3) Health professionals were identified by the women as the main driving force behind women taking up screening. (4) The screening procedure was perceived as painful, but women's overriding attitude was that screening was necessary. These findings suggest that Barbadian women would benefit from focused health education efforts surrounding cervical cancer screening to eradicate the misconception that the purpose of the Pap test is the detection of sexually transmitted diseases.


Caribbean; cervical cancer screening; health beliefs; knowledge; qualitative research

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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