AbstractsMedical & Health Science

Identifying and Examining Disparities in Cervical Cancer Screeningand Healthcare-Seeking Behavior among Arab American Women

by Sumayah Nuhaily

Institution: Emory University
Year: 2016
Keywords: Public health; Behavioral sciences; Obstetrics and gynecology; Pap screening; Cervical cancer; Arab American; Qualitative; Screening behavior
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2083022
Full text PDF: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/rkwkz


The primary objective of this research was to assess cultural, religious, and psychosocial factors related to perceptions of cervical cancer, cervical cancer screening, and human papillomavirus among Arab American women. We hoped to identify specific beliefs and processes that may inhibit or encourage Arab American women from obtaining regular cervical cancer screening, including interpersonal relationships, cultural influences, knowledge of and firsthand and secondhand experience with Pap screening, and overall perceptions of Pap screening. This was accomplished by conducting in-depth interviews with a sample of 16 Arab American women living in urban San Diego, California. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and coded using constructs from Social Ecological Model as well as salient themes that were found in transcripts. The majority of participants demonstrated limited knowledge of Pap testing, screening guidelines, and routine gynecological care recommendations. Some participants cited other women's negative experience as a reason for choosing not to obtain a Pap test. Immediate family members, specifically mothers and sisters, were viewed as important facilitators in obtaining a Pap test. Participants generally reported a lack of trust in healthcare providers' ability to provide culturally appropriate and high-quality healthcare. In conclusion, interpersonal factors appear to be important in the context of cervical cancer screening for Arab American women. Further research is needed to investigate cervical cancer screening attitudes and behaviors within this population. INTRODUCTION 1  – Public Health Significance 1  – Cervical Cancer Screening 1  – REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE 4  – Cultural and Religious Perceptions of Illness in Arab Communities 4  – Culturally-Ingrained Views on Female Modesty in Arab Communities 4  – Cervical Cancer Screening Rates in Arab American Women 6  – Cervical Cancer Screening Beliefs and Attitudes in Arab Women 7  – METHODOLOGY 8  – Participants 8  – Research Design and Methods 8  – RESULTS 13  – Participant Demographics 13  – Self-Report Survey Responses 14  – In-Depth Interview Results 14  – DISCUSSION 21  – Public Health Implications 22  – Strengths and Limitations 23  – Future Directions and Conclusions 24  – TABLES 26  – Table 1. Participant Demographics 26  – Table 2. Participants who Mentioned Barriers, Facilitators and Cultural Influences with Regard to Cervical Cancer Screening 27  – Table 3. Participants' Experiences with and Perceptions of Pap Screening 28  – Table 4. Knowledge of Pap Test, Screening Guidelines and Gynecological Care Needs 29  – APPENDICES 30  – Appendix 1. Recruitment Flyer 30  – Appendix 2. Consent Form 31  – Appendix 3. Interview Guide 37  – Appendix 4. Demographics and Self-Report Survey 41  – ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 44  – REFERENCES 45 Advisors/Committee Members: Wells, Kristen J (Committee Member), Pan, Tonya M (Committee Member), Sales, Jessica (Thesis Advisor).