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Article

Understanding Cervical Cancer Screening Barriers among Migrant Women: A Qualitative Study with Healthcare and Community Workers in Portugal

1
NOVA National School of Public Health, Public Health Research Centre, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, 1600-560 Lisbon, Portugal
2
Comprehensive Health Research Centre (CHRC), Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, 1169-056 Lisbon, Portugal
3
NOVA Medical School, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 1169-056 Lisbon, Portugal
4
International Centre for Reproductive Health, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jeanine Suurmond, Charles Agyemang and Morten Skovdal
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7248; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147248
Received: 21 May 2021 / Revised: 22 June 2021 / Accepted: 2 July 2021 / Published: 6 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Care Access among Underserved Groups)
Cervical cancer screening (CCS) has been proven to reducing mortality of cervical cancer; yet migrant women show a lower participation in screening compared to non-migrants. This study explores the perspectives of healthcare workers and community workers on the factors influencing the CCS participation of migrant women living in Portugal. A qualitative study with online focus groups was conducted. Healthcare workers experienced in CCS and community workers working with migrant communities were purposively sampled. A semi-structured guide was used covering the participation of migrant women in CCS, barriers, and strategies to overcome them. Data were analyzed using content analysis. Participants considered that migrant women have low participation in CCS related to insufficient knowledge, low risk perception, and lack of interest on preventive care. Other barriers such as difficulties in accessing the healthcare services, relationship with healthcare workers, language, and cultural differences were highlighted. Promoting continuity of care, disseminating culturally tailored information, and use of self-sampling methods were suggested to improve participation in CCS. Inequalities in access to CCS among migrant women are mostly caused by information gaps and healthcare system-related barriers. Building a migrant-friendly healthcare system that creates opportunities for healthcare workers to establish relationships with their patients and delivering culturally and linguistically adapted information may contribute to overcoming those barriers and increasing the participation of migrant women in screening. View Full-Text
Keywords: sexual health; cervical cancer screening; migrant women; healthcare workers; community workers sexual health; cervical cancer screening; migrant women; healthcare workers; community workers
MDPI and ACS Style

Marques, P.; Gama, A.; Santos, M.; Heleno, B.; Vermandere, H.; Dias, S. Understanding Cervical Cancer Screening Barriers among Migrant Women: A Qualitative Study with Healthcare and Community Workers in Portugal. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 7248. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147248

AMA Style

Marques P, Gama A, Santos M, Heleno B, Vermandere H, Dias S. Understanding Cervical Cancer Screening Barriers among Migrant Women: A Qualitative Study with Healthcare and Community Workers in Portugal. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(14):7248. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147248

Chicago/Turabian Style

Marques, Patrícia, Ana Gama, Mário Santos, Bruno Heleno, Heleen Vermandere, and Sónia Dias. 2021. "Understanding Cervical Cancer Screening Barriers among Migrant Women: A Qualitative Study with Healthcare and Community Workers in Portugal" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 14: 7248. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147248

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