Purpose: To describe reasons for non-attendance at cervical screening, as reported by non-attendees, in Sweden.
Methods: Four hundred women were randomized from a population-based register, of which 133 non-attendees answered the Cervical Screening Questionnaire (CSQ) in telephone interviews. Pearson's Chi2 and Mann-Whitney U-test were used to analyze differences between groups. Logistic regression was used to study the relationship between explanatory variables and a binary response variable.
Results: The most common reasons for non-attendance were: feeling healthy, lack of time, and feelings of discomfort with the gynecologic examination. Non-attendees, who reported non-attendance due to experiences of discomfort associated with the gynecologic examination, estimated great discomfort at their latest examination. A history of sexual abuse was reported by 16.5%, but there were no differences regarding non-attendance due to experiences of discomfort associated with the gynecologic examination, between non-attendees who had no history of sexual abuse and those who had.
Conclusion: It seems as though non-attendees did not attend cervical screening as they felt healthy, and thereby did not give time to preventive efforts. Earlier negative experiences such as discomfort during earlier gynecologic examinations seem to guide their decision not to attend.