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Migrant women’s knowledge and perceived sociocultural barriers to cervical cancer screening programme: a qualitative study of African women in Poland
 
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Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland
Submission date: 2016-02-28
Final revision date: 2016-07-20
Acceptance date: 2016-07-20
Online publication date: 2017-01-27
Publication date: 2017-01-27
 
Health Psychology Report 2017;5(3):263–271
 
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ABSTRACT
This article explores both the knowledge and perception of African women about the importance of screening as a recommended health action to counter the growing rate of cervical cancer in women. The theoretical framework is influenced by the postulations of behavioural theories, sociology of health and the health belief model (HBM) on how people perceive health issues such as cervical cancer and its screening measures. In addition, this study tries to explore the acculturation challenges involved in migration, which adversely affects health knowledge and behaviour of African women. To achieve this, one focus group discussion was conducted with twelve women between the ages of 25 and 54 years old from Egypt, Eritrea, Kenya and Nigeria to share their knowledge of cervical cancer screening programmes in Poland. They constituted a mixture of women from different parts of Africa with cultural differences and different belief systems. Little or no in-depth understanding of Polish language, lack of information about the disease and its screening methods, lack of understanding of the Polish health care systems and social economic factors were issues discussed by these women as socio-cultural barriers to their non-participation in the organised cervical cancer screening programme in Poland. Based on this study, migrant women lack adequate information about cervical cancer, its causes, risk factors and its screening methods. Therefore, this study proposes that good understanding of health care systems, language translation support in the health care system, health awareness campaigns and social relationships are important motivating factors that could encourage migrant women to participate in the cancer screening programmes in Poland.
 
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