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Barriers and motivators for uptake of cervical cancer prevention strategies in Eastern Europe: Perspective from Latvia

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journal contribution
posted on 2019-07-30, 13:55 authored by E Moss, H Patel, S Sherman, K Pčolkina, K Strazdiņa, I Viberga, C Redman, J Zodzika, D Rezeberga
Introduction: The incidence of cervical cancer in Eastern European countries is high, however uptake of available prevention strategies is suboptimal. We explored the knowledge, behaviours and attitudes towards cervical cancer prevention strategies in Latvian women.
Methods: A mixed-methods study of Latvian women, consisting of questionnaire surveys and semi-structured interviews, was conducted in Riga, Latvia between September-October 2015.
Results: 158 surveys were completed and 10 interviews were conducted. 87%(n=135) had previously had a smear test. 67%(n=105) correctly identified that cervical cytology was performed to identify pre-cancerous changes. The practice of annual gynaecological reviews was prevalent and many believed it to be synonymous with cervical screening. Detailed knowledge of HPV and the HPV vaccine was deficient, although 73%(n=115) and 70%(n=90) respectively claimed to have heard of them. Negative attitudes existed regarding the HPV vaccine due to fear of potential side effects. On learning that HPV was an sexually transmitted infection, the notion of testing positive for HPV was met with shame and embarrassment.
Conclusions: A small proportion of Latvian women are over-screened whilst many women remain unscreened. The main contributing factor for this was their poor understanding of the roles cervical screening and HPV vaccination play in the prevention of cervical cancer.

Funding

The study was conducted as part of a Sims Black Travelling Fellowship, which was awarded to CWE Redman and EL Moss by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

History

Citation

Acta dermatovenerologica Alpina, Pannonica et Adriatica, 2019;28:107-111

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF LIFE SCIENCES/School of Medicine/Cancer Research Centre

Version

  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Acta dermatovenerologica Alpina

Volume

28

Pagination

107-111

Publisher

De Gruyter Open, Association of Slovenian Dermatovenerologists

eissn

1581-2979

Acceptance date

2019-07-29

Copyright date

2019

Available date

2019-09-01

Language

en

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