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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 104-113

Factors associated with the uptake of cervical cancer screening among women in Portland, Jamaica

1 Department of Epidemiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA
2 North East Regional Health Authority, Jamaica

Correspondence Address:
Pauline E Jolly
Department of Epidemiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Public Health, 1665 University Boulevard, RPHB 217, Birmingham, Alabama-35294-0022
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Source of Support: Minority Health International Research Training (MHIRT) grant # T37-MD001448 from the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health, USA and the Ministry of Health, Jamaica., Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1947-2714.153922

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Background: Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women worldwide and is the leading cause of deaths in developing countries. Despite the strong evidence that cervical cancer screening results in decreased mortality from this disease, the uptake for cervical screening among Jamaican women remains low. Aims : This study was carried out to identify factors associated with Jamaican women's decisions to screen for cervical cancer. Materials and Methods: Cross-sectional descriptive study of 403 women aged 19 years and older from Portland, Jamaica. An interviewer-administered questionnaire assessed the women's cervical cancer screening history, as well as their knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding the disease and screening. Results: Of the 403 women interviewed, 66% had a Papanicolaou (Pap) smear and only 16% had a Pap test within the past year. Significant predicators of uptake of screening were being married, age, parity, discussing cancer with health provider, perception of consequences of not having a Pap smear, and knowing a person with cervical cancer. Women who did not know where to go for a Pap smear were 85% less likely to have been screened (prevalence odds ratio (POR): 0.15, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.04, 0.52). Conclusions: This study showed suboptimal uptake of cervical cancer screening among Jamaican women. Multipronged approaches are needed to address barriers to screening, as well as identify and support conditions that encourage women's use of reproductive health services, thereby reducing incidence and mortality rates from cervical cancer.

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