13 Improving Adherence To Pap Smear Screening Among Asian Women: A Population-Based Study In Singapore.

J. Lee, A. Seow, S.L. Ling, H.P. Lee
Department of Community, Occupational and Family Medicine, National University of Singapore;
Deputy Director of Medical Services (Public Health); Ministry of Health, Singapore
Few studies have addressed the issue of adherence to regular screening for cervical cancer in Asia and factors that would promote this, in particular to health service-related factors and possible interventions.
Materials and Methods:
We carried out a community-based cross-sectional survey among 726 women (response rate 61.9%) aged 30-59 years in 2 constituencies in Singapore.
Results: The overall screening prevalence (women who have ever had a Pap smear) was 62.4%, of which 67.0% (302 women) had ‘regular’ smears (screened at least once in three years). The ‘regular’ group tended to be young, educated, socially advantaged compared to the ‘irregular’ group. The latter attended for screening as part of post-natal or family planning visits. Chief barriers to regular screening were: low perceived susceptibility (46.5%) and low accessibility (37.1%). Improving physical and economic accessibility and a female doctor would encourage attendance.
One-third of women who have ever had a smear do not return for regular screening. ‘Windows of opportunity’ in contacts between women and primary care services should be used to convey the importance of adherence to screening.
13 Improving Adherence to Pap Smear Screening Among Asian Women: A Population-Based Study in Singapore.