A Survey on the Rate and Causes of Women’s Participation or Nonparticipation in Breast and Cervical Cancers Screening Programs

Document Type : Original Article


Lecturer, Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery, Kerman Medical University, Kerman, Iran.


Introduction:Breast and cervical cancers have high prevalence and mortality among women. The screening tests are the best diagnostic methods that significantly decrease their mortality. This study was performed to determine the rate and causes of women’s participation or nonparticipation in screening programs of breast and cervical cancers among the women referred to clinics over Kerman city in 2007.
Methods: This study is a descriptive research on 200 married women who referred to five distinct clinics in Kerman for their prenatal and postnatal care, family planning, baby vaccination and gynecologic visits. After a cluster sampling, data gathering was performed through a questionnaire with the reliability of 0.92. Data analysis was carried out using SPSS software (version 14) and ANOVA and chi-square tests.
Results: According to the results, 22.5% of women were participated in breast self examination, 21.5% in clinical breast examination and 27% in Pap smear test. The most common cause for participating in breast-cancer screening was awareness of its importance and in cervical- cancer screening was early diagnosis of cancer. Also the most common cause for nonparticipation (in both breast and cervical-cancers screening programs) was none physicians’ recommendation. There was a significant relation between women’s participation in BSE with educational level and occupation (P<0.001), and between women’s participation in CBE and educational level, occupation (P<0.001) and economic level (P=0.04). Also there was a same scenario between participation in pap smear test and occupation (P<0.001), age (P=0/014), and educational level (P=0/016).
Conclusion: Women’s participation in breast and cervical-cancers screening programs was not satisfactory. The most common causes for nonparticipation in these programs were both none physician recommendation and awareness. The study suggests the necessity of compiling the educational programs by health centers which aims to introducing women with these programs. It also seems that recommendation of physicians, midwives and health care providers is necessary in increasing the women’s participation in these programs.


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