Cervical cancer remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality among women from low and lower middle-income countries, as well as underserved population subgroups in high-income countries. Migration from South Asia to Australia has increased over the last decade, and immigrant women from this region have been reported as a subgroup, with less than optimal cervical screening participation in Australia. This study examined cervical screening uptake and associated behavioural attitudes among South Asian immigrant women living in Queensland Australia.
A cross-sectional, Internet-based survey was used to collect data from a convenience sample of 148 South Asian women living in Queensland. The main outcome measure was receipt of cervical screening test ever (yes/no) and its recency (within 2 years/more than 2 years). The survey also examined participants’ views on barriers towards screening and ways to enhance it.
Of 148 women who completed the survey, 55.4% (n = 82) reported ever having a cervical screening test before and 43.9% (n = 65) reported having it in previous two years. Not having a previous cervical screening test was significantly associated with duration of stay in Australia for less than five years, not having access to a regular general practitioner (GP), not being employed, having low cervical cancer knowledge level and not knowing if cervical screening test is painful or not. Most commonly reported barriers to screening uptake included considering oneself not at risk, lack of time and lack of information. The most favoured strategy among participants was encouragement by GP and awareness through social media advertisements.