To explore awareness of and participation in cervical screening services in women from Poland, Slovakia and Romania living in London, UK.
Three qualitative studies were carried out in London in 2008–2009: an interview study of professionals working with Central and Eastern European migrants ( n=11); a focus group study including three Polish, one Slovak and one Romanian focus group; and an interview study of Polish ( n=11), Slovak ( n=7) and Romanian ( n=2) women.
Awareness of the cervical screening programme was good, but understanding of the purpose of screening was sometimes limited. Some women were fully engaged with the UK screening programme; others used screening both in the UK and their countries of origin; and a third group only had screening in their home countries. Women welcomed the fact that screening is free and that reminders are sent, but some were concerned about the screening interval and the age of the first invitation.
Migrant women from Poland, Slovakia and Romania living in London vary in their level of participation in the National Health Service Cervical Screening Programme. More needs to be done to address concerns regarding screening services, and to ensure that language is not a barrier to participation.