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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
5194.0: Wednesday, December 14, 2005 - 2:45 PM

Abstract #115624

Women’s health in prison: A community health assessment of the Pap smear and follow-up treatment process at a California state women's prison

Jen R. Hult, BA, Catherine Magee, BA, Shelby McMillan, BA, and Ruby-Asuncion Turalba, BA. Department of Health Education, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, HSS 326, San Francisco, CA 94132, 415-338-1413, jenhult@sfsu.edu

The number of women prisoners in the state of California has increased dramatically in the last two decades. Additionally, growing evidence indicates that women prisoners are particularly vulnerable to a variety of negative health outcomes, including cervical cancer. These factors demand greater public health attention to this high-risk community with a focus on prevention.

A community health assessment was conducted to determine what is and is not working with the Pap smear and follow-up treatment process at a California state women's prison. This process utilized qualitative interviews with women prisoners and service providers.

The assessment data revealed that the Pap smear process at this institution is generally not meeting the healthcare needs of the women interviewed. Women have negative experiences with the standard of care during the actual exam and with their providers. Further, the prison's punitive culture and bureaucratic infrastructure create barriers for prisoners and healthcare providers to access and deliver quality care, respectively. In response to these challenges, however, women prisoners use skills in self- and community-advocacy to cope with these systemic issues.

Learning Objectives: By the end of the session, participants will be able to

Keywords: Prisoners Health Care, Reproductive Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Health of women in the community justice system and prison

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA