Young Women and Cervical Cancer Screening: What Barriers Persist?

Agnes T. Black, Anne McCulloch, Ruth Elwood Martin, Lisa Kan


A reduction in participation rates for cervical cancer screening (CCS) by women aged 20 to 24 in the Canadian province of British Columbia led to this study evaluating young women's knowledge of CCS and identifying barriers to and facilitators of participation in CCS. A qualitative design was used and focus groups were held with a total of 80 women. Barriers to participation in CCS included difficulty finding health-care providers and the invasiveness of the Pap test. Facilitators included assistance with finding a health-care provider, availability of female providers, established relationship with a provider or clinic, and education about Pap tests. Education about the importance of CCS and assistance with finding health-care providers are key factors in increasing young women's participation in screening.

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