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Papanicolaou (Pap) test is an effective method for cervical cancer screening. This study, published in the European Journal of Cancer Care, assessed the barriers South Asian women in Hong Kong face in obtaining cervical cancer screening. 

A total of 776 women 21 and older with no prior history of cervical cancer or hysterectomy participated in this cross-sectional survey. The women all lived in Hong Kong and were originally from India, Pakistan, and Nepal. Participant demographics and Pap test uptake were recorded. The participants also completed a subscale of the Cervical Cancer Screening Belief Scale to identify perceived barriers to screening. 

Ultimately, it was found that about 40% of the women had undergone a Pap smear. Moreover, two perceived barriers were identified as being significantly associated with Pap smear uptake: not knowing where to get the test done and believing that the test was not needed if they felt well. These findings are at odds with commonly reported barriers to cervical cancer screening among South Asians: language barriers and embarrassment. 

In short, this study is important because it identifies which concerns among South Asian women are most significant when it comes to cervical cancer screening: when should they get tested, and where can they get tested? Healthcare providers can improve cervical cancer screening uptake for this population by increasing cervical cancer screening awareness and access to care [1].


[1] Chan, D. N. S., & So, W. K. W. (2022). Influential barriers perceived by South Asians in Hong Kong to undergoing cervical cancer screening. European Journal of Cancer Care, 31(2). https://doi.org/10.1111/ecc.13556

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