Understanding cervical cancer prevention and screening in Chuukese women in Hawaii

Hawaii Med J. 2010 Jun;69(6 Suppl 3):13-6.


Background: Cervical cancer is the primary cause of death due to cancer in women in Chuuk State, Federated States of Micronesia. The Chuukese population is the fastest growing segment of the Micronesian community in Hawaii. Little is known about the health beliefs or practices of this population in Hawaii. The purpose of this project was to describe the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of Chuukese women in Hawaii regarding cervical cancer prevention and screening.

Methods: Research assistants from the Chuukese community were recruited and trained as members of the research team. A culturally sensitive survey tool was developed and piloted by the research team and used to interview ten key informants from the Chuukese community in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Results: There is limited knowledge about cervical cancer, especially the association with human papillomavirus (HPV). This may be indicative of a lack of health information in general. Fear, privacy concerns, lack of awareness and cultural beliefs represent the main barriers mentioned when discussing cervical cancer. Education, done in a group setting with other women, is the most recommended method of informing this community and improving preventive and screening services for cervical cancer in these women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Community Participation
  • Comprehension*
  • Culture*
  • Female
  • Hawaii
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Mass Screening
  • Micronesia / ethnology
  • Middle Aged
  • Papillomaviridae
  • Pilot Projects
  • Pregnancy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / ethnology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Vaginal Smears