Perceptions of barriers and facilitators to cervical cancer screening among low-income, HIV-infected women from an integrated HIV clinic

Academic Article

Abstract

  • Significantly elevated rates of cervical cancer and low rates of Papanicolaou (Pap) smear screening have been documented among HIV-infected women. However, little is known about women's perceptions of cervical cancer screening utilization. Hence, this study describes barriers and facilitators related to cervical cancer screening in a sample of HIV-infected women seeking care at an integrated HIV clinic in Houston, Texas. Using an inductive qualitative methodological approach, data were obtained from five focus group discussions with a total of 33, HIV-infected women. The majority of the study sample consisted of women who self-identified as Black (69.7%), and reported heterosexual contact as the mode of HIV acquisition (75.8%). Barriers to cervical cancer screening were described as pain and discomfort associated with receiving Pap smears and subsequent procedures; lack of awareness of cervical cancer as a preventable disease; limited transportation access; and systemic issues as it relates to scheduling gynecological appointments. Facilitators were described as awareness of HIV-infected women's increased risk of cervical cancer and strong provider-patient relationships. To address disparities in cervical cancer screening among low-income HIV-infected women, programs should capitalize on the identified facilitators and alleviate modifiable barriers using multilevel strategies. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Fletcher FE; Buchberg M; Schover LR; Basen-Engquist K; Kempf MC; Arduino RC; Vidrine DJ
  • Start Page

  • 1229
  • End Page

  • 1235
  • Volume

  • 26
  • Issue

  • 10