Perspectives of non-attenders for cervical cancer screening in Norway: a qualitative focus group study.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE:The attendance rate for cervical cancer screening in Norway is currently suboptimal at 69%, and an in-depth understanding of postponement of cervical cancer screening from the perspective of non-attenders is lacking. This study aims to generate knowledge about how non-attenders for cervical cancer screening reflect on booking a screening appointment. METHODS:Using the Norwegian cervical cancer screening registry, we identified and recruited women who were non-attenders to screening. Nine focus group interviews were carried out, with 41 women participating in the interviews. RESULTS:Four main themes were generated, which provide a comprehensive understanding of how women who are overdue for screening reflect on their hesitancy to book a screening appointment: 'It's easy to forget about it', 'Women have to arrange their own appointment', 'It has to be a 'must'' and 'It's a humiliating situation'. CONCLUSION:The degree to which women regard screening as important is affected by the nudging strategies employed in the screening programme and the facilitation of attendance provided by healthcare services. Dependence on one's personal initiative to schedule a screening appointment and perception of a lack of responsibility on the part of healthcare services to attend screening may undermine informed and shared decision-making about screening attendance.
Project description:Women from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds are less likely to attend cervical screening than White British women. This study explored sociodemographic and attitudinal correlates of cervical screening non-attendance among BAME women.Women (30-60 years) were recruited from Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Caribbean, African and White British backgrounds (n=720). Participants completed structured interviews.BAME women were more likely to be non-attenders than white British women (44-71% vs 12%) and fell into two groups: the disengaged and the overdue. Migrating to the United Kingdom, speaking a language other than English and low education level were associated with being disengaged. Being overdue was associated with older age. Three attitudinal barriers were associated with being overdue for screening among BAME women: low perceived risk of cervical cancer due to sexual inactivity, belief that screening is unnecessary without symptoms and difficulty finding an appointment that fits in with other commitments.BAME non-attenders appear to fall into two groups, and interventions for these groups may need to be targeted and tailored accordingly. It is important to ensure that BAME women understand cancer screening is intended for asymptomatic women and those who have ceased sexual activity may still be at risk.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>In England, participation in breast cancer screening has been decreasing in the past 10 years, approaching the national minimum standard of 70%. Interventions aimed at improving participation need to be investigated and put into practice to stop this downward trend. We assessed the effect on participation of sending invitations for breast screening with a timed appointment to women who did not attend their first offered appointment within the NHS Breast Screening Programme (NHSBSP).<h4>Methods</h4>In this open, randomised controlled trial, women in six centres in the NHSBSP in England who were invited for routine breast cancer screening were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive an invitation to a second appointment with fixed date and time (intervention) or an invitation letter with a telephone number to call to book their new screening appointment (control) in the event of non-attendance at the first offered appointment. Randomisation was by SX number, a sequential unique identifier of each woman within the NHSBSP, and at the beginning of the study a coin toss decided whether women with odd or even SX numbers would be allocated to the intervention group. Women aged 50-70 years who did not attend their first offered appointment were eligible for the analysis. The primary endpoint was participation (ie, attendance at breast cancer screening) within 90 days of the date of the first offered appointment; we used Poisson regression to compare the proportion of women who participated in screening in the study groups. All analyses were by intention to treat. This trial is registered with Barts Health, number 009304QM.<h4>Findings</h4>We obtained 33 146 records of women invited for breast cancer screening at the six centres between June 2, 2014, and Sept 30, 2015, who did not attend their first offered appointment. 26 054 women were eligible for this analysis (12 807 in the intervention group and 13 247 in the control group). Participation within 90 days of the first offered appointment was significantly higher in the intervention group (2861 [22%] of 12 807) than in the control group (1632 [12%] of 13 247); relative risk of participation 1·81 (95% CI 1·70-1·93; p<0·0001).<h4>Interpretation</h4>These findings show that a policy of second appointments with fixed date and time for non-attenders of breast screening is effective in improving participation. This strategy can be easily implemented by the screening sites and, if combined with simple interventions, could further increase participation and ensure an upward shift in the participation trend nationally. Whether the policy should vary by time since last attended screen will have to be considered.<h4>Funding</h4>National Health Service Cancer Screening Programmes and Department of Health Policy Research Programme.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Self-sampling for human papillomavirus (HPV) offered to women who do not participate in cervical cancer screening is an increasingly popular method to increase screening coverage. The rationale behind self-sampling is that unscreened women harbour a high proportion of undetected precancer lesions. Here, we compare the cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 or worse (?CIN2) detection rate between non-attenders who participated in self-sampling and women attending routine screening. METHODS:A total of 23?632 women who were qualified as non-attenders in the Copenhagen Region were invited for HPV-based self-sampling. Of these, 4824 women returned a self-sample, and HPV-positive women were referred for cytology and HPV co-testing as follow-up. The entire cohort and a reference cohort (3347 routinely screened women) were followed for histopathology confirmed ?CIN2. Odds ratio (OR) and the relative positive predictive value of ?CIN2 detection between the two populations were estimated. RESULTS:Women participating in self-sampling had a higher ?CIN2 detection than women undergoing routine cytology-based screening (OR=1.83, 95% CI: 1.21-2.77) and a similar detection as routinely screened women tested with cytology and HPV testing (OR=1.03, 95% CI: 0.75-1.40). The positive predictive value for ?CIN2 was higher in screening non-attenders than in routinely HPV- and cytology-screened screened women (36.5% vs 25.6%, respectively). CONCLUSIONS:Self-sampling offered to non-attenders showed higher detection rates for ?CIN2 than routine cytology-based screening, and similar detection rates as HPV and cytology co-testing. This reinforces the importance of self-sampling for screening non-attenders in organised cervical cancer screening.
Project description:This study aims to investigate acceptance of vaginal self-sampling for high-risk human papilloma virus (HPV) among long-term screening non-attenders at increased cervical cancer risk and to identify leverage points to promote screening adherence among these women. Forty-three long-term screening non-attenders performed home vaginal self-sampling for HPV, had positive HPV results, and subsequently attended gynecologic examination. Sixteen (37.2%) had high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN2 or 3), and two had invasive cervical cancer. Forty-one of these women completed a questionnaire concerning Specific Knowledge about HPV, CIN, and cervical cancer, potential barriers to screening and views about self-sampling. Results were compared with 479 women treated for CIN2+ who attended gynecologic follow-up and also performed self-sampling. Significant multivariate predictors of long-term non-attender status compared with referents were low Specific Knowledge, high confidence in self-sampling, and potential barriers-refraining from activity to attend gynecologic examination, needing another's help to attend, and long travel time. Non-attenders citing fear/refraining from gynecologic examination as why they preferred self-sampling significantly more often had lowest Specific Knowledge compared with other non-attenders. All non-attenders could envision themselves doing self-sampling again while only 74% of referents endorsed this statement (p?=?0.0003). We conclude that HPV self-sampling is an acceptable option for women at increased cervical cancer risk who have been long-term screening non-attenders. Educational outreach to enhance Specific Knowledge about HPV, CIN and cervical cancer is critical. Those non-attenders who explicitly avoid gynecologic examinations need special attention. Trial Registry: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02750124.
Project description:Danish and Norwegian immigrant women in Sweden have an increased risk of cervical cancer compared to Swedish-born women. In addition, Danish and Norwegian immigrant women follow the national recommendations for attendance at cervical screening to much lesser extent than Swedish-born women. The aim of this study was to explore how Danish and Norwegian immigrant women in Sweden reason about attending cervical screening, focusing on women's perceptions as to why they and their compatriots do not attend.Eight focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted with Danish and Norwegian immigrant women living in Stockholm. The women were between 26 and 66 years of age at the time of the FGDs, and were aged between <1 and 48 years old when they immigrated to Sweden. A FGD guide was used, which included questions related to cervical screening, and obstacles and motivators to attend cervical screening. The FGDs were tape recorded and transcribed, and the results analysed according to the principles of qualitative content analysis.The main theme was "Women have a comprehensive rationale for postponing cervical screening, yet do not view themselves as non-attenders". Investigation of women's rationale for non-attendance after being invited to cervical screening revealed some complex reasons related to immigration itself, including competing needs, organisational and structural factors and differences in mentality, but also reasons stemming from other factors. Postponing attendance at cervical screening was the category that linked all these factors as the reasons to why women did not attend to cervical screening according to the recommendations of the authorities.The rationale used to postpone cervical screening, in combination with the fact that women do not consider themselves to be non-attenders, indicates that they have not actively taken a stance against cervical screening, and reveals an opportunity to motivate these women to attend.
Project description:Increasing attendance to screening offers the best potential for improving the effectiveness of well-established cervical cancer screening programs. Self-sampling at home for human papillomavirus (HPV) testing as an alternative to a clinical sampling can be a useful policy to increase attendance. To determine whether self-sampling improves screening attendance for women who do not regularly attend the Norwegian Cervical Cancer Screening Programme (NCCSP), 800 women aged 25-69 years in the Oslo area who were due to receive a 2nd reminder to attend regular screening were randomly selected and invited to be part of the intervention group. Women in this group received one of two self-sampling devices, Evalyn Brush or Delphi Screener. To attend screening, women in the intervention group had the option of using the self-sampling device (self-sampling subgroup) or visiting their physician for a cervical smear. Self-sampled specimens were split and analyzed for the presence of high-risk (hr) HPV by the CLART® HPV2 test and the digene® Hybrid Capture (HC)2 test. The control group consisted of 2593 women who received a 2nd reminder letter according to the current guidelines of the NCCSP. The attendance rates were 33.4% in the intervention group and 23.2% in the control group, with similar attendance rates for both self-sampling devices. Women in the self-sampling subgroup responded favorably to both self-sampling devices and cited not remembering receiving a call for screening as the most dominant reason for previous non-attendance. Thirty-two of 34 (94.1%) hrHPV-positive women in the self-sampling subgroup attended follow-up. In conclusion, self-sampling increased attendance rates and was feasible and well received. This study lends further support to the proposal that self-sampling may be a valuable alternative for increasing cervical cancer screening coverage in Norway.
Project description:Background To overcome obstacles within the Slovenian organised cervical cancer screening programme, a randomised pilot study of human papillomavirus (HPV) self-sampling among non-attenders was performed, aiming to assess three different screening approaches. Participants and methods Non-attenders aged 30-64 years from two Slovenian regions were randomised to two HPV self-sampling groups-the opt-in (I1, n = 14.400) and the opt-out (I2, n = 9.556), with a control group (P, n = 2.600). Self-collected samples were analysed using the Hybrid Capture 2 assay. HPV-positive women were invited to a colposcopy. The overall and type-specific intention-to-screen response rates and histological outcomes with a positive predictive value (PPV) according to the women's age, the screening approach, the level of protection resulting from previous screening history, and the region of residence were assessed. Results Of the 26.556 women enrolled, 8.972 (33.8%) responded with self-sample for HPV testing and/or traditional cytology within one year of enrolment. Response rates were 37.7%, 34.0% and 18.4% (p < 0.050) for opt-out, opt-in and control groups. Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN)2+ was diagnosed in 3.9/1.000, 3.4/1.000, and 3.1/1.000 women (p > 0.050), respectively. PPV of the HPV self-sampling was 12.0% and 9.6% for CIN2+ and CIN3+. The highest PPV was obtained in non-attenders in screening programme for more than 10-years and concordant results of HPV testing with 40.8% for CIN2+ and 38.8% for CIN3+. Conclusions The results of our study show that a high response to HPV self-sampling can be achieved also in an opt-in approach, if women are encouraged to choose between self-sampling at home and screening with gynaecologist. In addition, clinically important risk difference for a high-grade cervical lesion exists in the case of a positive result of HPV testing on self-collected samples, depending on the length of the interval since last screening. Stratified management of these women should be strongly considered. Women who were not screened with cytology for at least 10 years should be referred to immediate colposcopy for histology verification instead to delayed re-testing.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:The aim of this study was to understand causes of attendance and non-attendance to a follow-up cervical cancer screening among human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive women. DESIGN:Semistructured, individual interviews with HPV-positive women and cervical cancer screening nurses. The interview guide and initial data analysis were guided by existing health behaviour theories. However, as the theories limited the potential of the data material, a grounded theory framework guided the final data analysis. SETTING:Interviews were conducted in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, at Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI) or in the homes of screening clients. PARTICIPANTS:15 interviews were conducted with women who had tested HPV-positive during a patient-initiated screening and been appointed for a follow-up screening 14 months later. Nine women had not attended the follow-up appointment, four had delayed attendance and two had attended on the scheduled date. Further, individual interviews were conducted with the two nurses working at ORCI's screening clinic. RESULTS:Perceived benefits for attending a patient-initiated screening include treatment of gynaecological symptoms and prevention of disease. The key perceived benefit of a health provider-initiated follow-up screening is prevention, which is challenged by the circumstance that it is seen by women as having merely potential benefit and therefore can be postponed when competing needs are present. Perceived challenges for screening attendance include emotional costs, in the form of fear of the disease, fear of the gynaecological examination as well as direct and indirect economic costs, such as transportation costs, lost income and waiting time. CONCLUSION:Cervical cancer screening is one among many tasks that women living in a low-income setting must attend to. Since health provider-initiated follow-up screening is seen as having only potential benefit, attendance can be postponed when competing needs exist. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER:NCT02509702.
Project description:Cancer screening could be an opportunity to deliver cancer prevention advice, but it is not known how such information would be received. We explored willingness to receive lifestyle advice in the context of the English National Health Service cervical, breast, and bowel (FS; flexible sigmoidoscopy) screening programmes. A population-based survey was conducted in 2016 to collect nationally representative data on willingness to receive lifestyle advice across cervical (n?=?768), breast (n?=?420) and FS (n?=?308) screening programmes. Additional items assessed the impact of lifestyle advice on screening attendance, preference for receiving advice in the event of an abnormal screening result, and timing of advice. Most respondents were willing to receive lifestyle advice around the time of cancer screening (cervical 78.9%, breast 79.4%, FS 81.8%), and if their results were abnormal (cervical 86.3%, breast 83.0%, FS 85.1%). A small proportion indicated it may discourage future attendance (cervical 4.9%, breast 7.0%, FS 8.8%). Most preferred information to be delivered at the screening appointment (cervical 69.8%, breast 72.6%, FS 70.7%). There were no associations between sociodemographic characteristics and willingness to receive lifestyle advice at breast screening. For those intending to attend cervical screening, non-White ethnicity and higher education were associated with increased willingness to receive lifestyle advice. Women were more likely to be willing to receive advice at FS screening than men. Providing lifestyle advice at cancer screening is likely to be acceptable to the general population. The optimal approach for delivery needs careful consideration to minimise potential negative effects on screening attendance.
Project description:Cervical cancer is a major health concern in Tanzania, caused by poor attendance for cervical cancer screening and follow-up of women at risk. Mobile telephone health interventions are proven effective tools to improve health behaviour in African countries. So far, no knowledge exists on how such interventions may perform in relation to cervical cancer screening in low-income settings. This study aims to assess the degree to which a Short Message Service (SMS) intervention can increase attendance at appointments among women who have tested positive for high-risk (HR) Human Papillomavirus (HPV) during cervical cancer screening.Connected2Care is a non-blinded, multicentre, parallel-group, randomised controlled trial. Tanzanian women testing positive to HR HPV at inclusion are randomly assigned in an allocation ratio of 1:1 to the SMS intervention or the control group (standard care). In a period of 10 months, the intervention group will receive 15 one-directional health educative text messages and SMS reminders for their appointment. The total sample size will be 700 with 350 women in each study arm. Primary outcome is attendance rate for follow-up. Secondary objectives are cost-effectiveness, measured through incremental ratios, and knowledge of cervical cancer by a 16-item true/false scale questionnaire at baseline and follow-up. Barriers against implementing the intervention will be assessed in a mixed-methods sub-population study.This study may provide information on the potential effects, costs, and barriers in implementing an SMS intervention targeting a group of women who are followed up after testing positive for HR HPV and are, therefore, at increased risk of developing cervical cancer. This can guide decision-makers on the effective use of mobile technology in a low-income setting. Trial status: recruiting.ClinicalTrials.gov, ID: NCT02509702 . Registered on 15 June 2015.