236495 A qualitative assessment of barriers to cervical cancer prevention: The role of men in the cervical cancer screening behaviors of women in Kumasi, Ghana

Monday, October 31, 2011

Michelle S. Williams, MPH, CHES , Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
The age-standardized mortality rate for cervical cancer in Ghana, West Africa is more than three times the global cervical cancer mortality rate (27.6/100,000 vs. 7.8/100,000 respectively). Cervical cancer awareness is not widely promoted in Ghana. Cervical cancer is highly preventable and easily treated when detected early. The Pap test is an effective screening tool, and it is available at public and private health care institutions in Ghana. Only 2.7% of Ghanaian women have Pap tests at regular intervals. A preliminary study conducted in Kumasi, Ghana found that male partners play a role in some Ghanaian women's healthcare decisions. In this study, five focus groups were conducted with Ghanaian men (n = 25) to assess their knowledge of and beliefs about cervical cancer and cervical cancer screening, and their willingness to encourage their partners to get a cervical cancer screening. Results indicate that the majority of the participants did not have accurate knowledge about cervical cancer or cervical cancer screening. Several participants held stigmatizing beliefs about cervical cancer, which appeared to lead to the minimization of the perceived risk for cervical cancer for their partners. Some participants were not willing to encourage or pay for cervical cancer screenings for their partners in the absence of signs or symptoms. The results of this study indicate that men play a significant role in the health behaviors of some Ghanaian women. Cervical cancer awareness interventions in Ghana must target males in order to reduce barriers and increase cervical cancer screening rates.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture

Learning Objectives:
1) By the end of this session, the participant will be able to identify common cultural beliefs about cervical cancer in Ghana, West Africa. 2) By the end of this session, the participant will be able to identify pertinent information that should be included in culturally appropriate cervical cancer education material targeting people in Ghana, West Africa.

Keywords: Cervical Cancer, Barriers to Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: designed and conducted the 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.