A Pap test screening clinic in a South Asian community of Vancouver, British Columbia: challenges to maintaining utilization

Public Health Nurs. 2004 Sep-Oct;21(5):412-8. doi: 10.1111/j.0737-1209.2004.21504.x.


The purpose of this article is to describe experiences and challenges in establishing a South Asian Pap Test Clinic. The specialized Pap test clinic for immigrant South Asian women was a community-initiated response to high rates of cervical cancer within this population. Efforts were made to ensure that the clinic provided health services in a sensitive and culturally appropriate manner. Although women were generally positive about their experiences at the South Asian Pap Test Clinic and often encouraged other women to attend the clinic for Pap testing, attendance patterns have not been maintained. The three most significant challenges to the clinic's ongoing success were: (1) maintaining the continued involvement of stakeholders in developing long-term strategies to enhance community awareness about cervical cancer; (2) creating mechanisms to strengthen support from physicians in the community; and (3) meeting the needs of the underserved within a specialized health service for South Asian immigrant women. These challenges provide important lessons for others to increase the participation of immigrant women in screening practices. Nurses can play a key role in mobilizing and maintaining collaborations that are essential to the continuing success of community-based programs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asia, Southeastern / ethnology
  • British Columbia
  • Communication Barriers
  • Community Health Centers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Community Health Centers / trends
  • Emigration and Immigration* / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data*
  • Mass Screening / trends
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Qualitative Research
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urban Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms* / ethnology
  • Vaginal Smears / statistics & numerical data*
  • Vaginal Smears / trends