249582 Cervical Cancer Disparities: Knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and screening practices of ethnically diverse Black women

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 10:30 AM

Diane R. Brown, PhD , Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities, UMDNJ - SPH, Newark, NJ
Rula Wilson, RN, DNSc , University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey - School of Nursing, Newark, NJ
Makini Boothe, MPH Candidate , Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey - School of Public Health, Newark, NJ
Caroline Harris, MPH Candidate , University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Public Health, Newark, NJ
Background: Epidemiological data show that Black women have high rates of cervical cancer mortality compared to women of other racial and ethnic groups. Paradoxically, Black women have the highest cervical screening rates nationally of all racial and ethnic groups. The discrepancy between mortality and screening rates suggest a failure of current interventions to address cultural diversity within this population. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to address gaps in research on cervical cancer screening among Black women of various ethnic backgrounds. Methods: We conducted six focus groups with Haitian, African, English-speaking Caribbean and African American women to assess their cervical cancer knowledge, attitudes and practices. Results: There was limited knowledge and confusion across ethnic groups about cervical cancer and its risk factors, the Pap test, and the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and its association with cervical cancer. There were also distinct differences in knowledge and cultural beliefs about cervical cancer. Patient-doctor relationship was the single most important facilitator for cervical cancer screening among all groups. Barriers to cervical cancer screening included cost, busy work schedule, fear of the unknown, lack of insurance or being unemployed, and fear of disclosing immigration status. Conclusion: Interventions with Black women would benefit from recognizing cultural barriers and misconceptions that vary by ethnic group. Culturally-based strategies suggested by the focus groups include the use of existing social networks, the use of community-based health workers, and the inclusion of women of all ages in cervical cancer education because of their roles in extended families.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
By the end of the session, the participants will be able to discuss the similarities and differences of cervical cancer screening knowledge, attitudes and practices among a convenience sample of ethnically diverse Black women. They will also be able to explain the importance of recognizing diversity within a Black population when designing cervical cancer interventions.

Keywords: Cervical Cancer, Culture

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was involved in the study design, data analysis and manuscript preparation.
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.