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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Native American women’s perceptions of provider services during a Pap test

Adina Smith, PhD, Suzanne Christopher, PhD, Victoria LaFromboise, BS, and Alma Knows His Gun McCormick. Department of Health and Human Development, Montana State University, 218 Herrick Hall, Bozeman, MT 59717-3540, 406-994-5993, adinas@montana.edu

Native American women have higher rates of cervix cancer than the US All Races rate. When comparing Native Americans across all regions of the U.S., cervix cancer mortality rates for Northern Plains Indian women are the highest. Our project, Messengers for Health, is a four year community-based participatory research/lay health advisor program aimed at educating Apsáalooke (Crow) women about cervix health and increasing the number of women participating in yearly Pap tests. Many barriers to Pap test screening for Native women have been identified including cultural beliefs about cancer, transportation and childcare problems. Other barriers are related to the healthcare system and the medical services available to Native American women. Project staff have been working closely with the Indian Health Service on the Apsáalooke reservation to promote cervix health. At the beginning phase of this project, 100 Apsáalooke women were surveyed about their knowledge and understanding of cervix health. One aspect of this survey addressed women’s satisfaction and comfort with their healthcare and medical provider during their yearly Pap test and pelvic exam. The survey also examined women’s use of traditional healthcare practices. In this presentation, we will describe women’s experiences with their healthcare with a focus on the cultural competency of healthcare providers and barriers to women’s receiving yearly Pap tests. We will also elucidate the role of our program in decreasing barriers to Apsáalooke (Crow) women’s cervical health.

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