A mixed-methods approach to assessing barriers to cervical screening exams among indigent high-risk women in substance abuse programs
Objectives: The objective of this study was to determine baseline knowledge of cervical cancer and explore the experiences of previous screenings, among women participating in substance abuse and mental health treatment programs at the Nexus Recovery Center, Dallas's largest women-only SATC.
Methodology: Six focus groups (N=48 women) were conducted among women undergoing treatment at the Nexus Recovery Center. A separate focus group was conducted among members of our project advisory board (medical professionals, social workers, and recovering addicts) who guided the research. A mixed methods approach was used to analyze the data and identify themes from participants' responses.
Results: In assessing the participants' utilization of and knowledge regarding cervical cancer screening, 30 (63%) had a Pap smear in the last two years, and 35 (73%) had heard of HPV, a risk factor for cervical cancer. Preliminary analysis is currently underway to uncover the impact of past trauma in utilizing cervical cancer screening in this population.
Conclusion: Our findings will be used to develop a trauma-informed, culturally sensitive cervical cancer education program specific to the needs and experiences of this population that can be integrated into SATC's.
Learning Areas:Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Identify barriers to engaging in well women’s cancer screening programs among a high risk subset of women with substance abuse issues Differentiate between our project advisory board’s perception and participants’ actual citing of barriers to utilizing cervical screening exams
Keyword(s): Women's Health, Vulnerable Populations
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: The confluence of my research experiences in cancer epidemiology will stand me in good stead with regard to my current presentation. I have been a project manager on a cancer epidemiology study for five years investigating occupational-related cancers and have successfully co-authored three publications.
I have also been involved in gastric cancer research among indigent populations and presented at the prestigious Digestive Disease Week conference.
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.