216575 Cervical cancer screening in Malawi: A qualitative perspective

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 : 8:30 AM - 8:50 AM

Victoria Fort, MPH , Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Mary Sue Makin, MD , Department of Gynecology, Mulanje Mission Hospital, Mulanje, Malawi
Roger Rochat, MD, MPH , Global Health, Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, GA
Aaron J. Siegler, MHS , Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Kevin Ault, MD , Department of Gynecology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Background: Cervical cancer affects 500,000 women globally each year, half of whom die from the disease. The overwhelming majority of the burden falls on women in developing countries. In Malawi, cervical cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer among women and has a mortality rate of 80%. Objective: The purpose of this study is to identify the reasons for low attendance at cervical cancer screening sites and to generate recommendations on increasing the use of this service. This study aims to fill the knowledge gap about barriers that keep women from seeking cervical cancer screening in Mulanje, Malawi. Methods: Qualitative data were collected through in-depth interviews in Mulanje, Malawi. The recruitment of participants for the twenty interviews employed nonprobability sampling of two categories of women: 1) Women seeking cervical cancer screening at Mulanje Mission Hospital (MMH) and 2) Women living in the MMH catchment area. Interviews were analyzed using MAXQDA qualitative software. Results: This research demonstrates that women in Mulanje, Malawi utilize cervical cancer screening to address chronic abdominal pain, regardless of education about cervical cancer or knowing someone with cervical cancer. Interviews demonstrated that women did not seek cervical cancer screening as an independent service. Recommendation: This study recommends recruiting women for cervical cancer screening when they are attending the hospital for another service, such as the under-five clinic or the out-patient department. In conjunction, the study found that nurses and staff require more education on the local burden of cervical cancer and the purpose of screening.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
By the end of the session, the participant will be able to: 1. Identify the barriers that prevent women in Mulanje, Malawi from seeking cervical cancer screening 2. Articulate the benefits of in-hospital versus out-of-hospital recruitment of women into cervical cancer screening programs

Keywords: Cervical Cancer, Health Care Utilization

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the Principle Investigator for the research conducted to complete this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.