Screening for breast and cervical cancer among OST patients: a qualitative study of barriers and suggested interventions to increase participation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

PURPOSE: Women with current or previous drug use are at risk of poor breast and cervical cancer outcomes. While screening is known to decrease cancer mortality, screening participation is sparsely investigated among drug dependent women. The aim of this study was to explore experiences of breast and cervical cancer screening-including barriers and suggested interventions to promote increased participation-among women in opioid substitution treatment (OST). METHODS: Three focus group interviews were conducted at one OST clinic in Malmö, Sweden. The interviews were moderated by OST staff, assisted by a researcher. A descriptive qualitative analysis was carried out using a template analysis approach, employing a model of healthcare access to organize the description of barriers. RESULTS: The 11 participants reported several barriers to screening access, affecting the perceived need of screening and the opportunities to seek and reach screening services. Some barriers appear to be specific to women with previous or current drug use. Suggested interventions were moral and practical support, integrated/specialized delivery of screening services, and enhanced screening invitation procedures. CONCLUSIONS: The study findings provide insight to difficulties with screening compliance among women with current or previous drug use, and provide a knowledge base for quantitative and intervention studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2175767
Number of pages1
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Dec 1

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology

Free keywords

  • cancer screening
  • drug use
  • focus groups
  • health equity
  • opioid substitution treatment
  • Sweden
  • Women

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