Promoters of and barriers to cervical cancer screening in a rural setting in Tanzania

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2013 Dec;123(3):221-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2013.05.026. Epub 2013 Sep 4.


Objective: To investigate promoters and barriers for cervical cancer screening in rural Tanzania.

Methods: We interviewed 300 women of reproductive age living in Kiwangwa village, Tanzania. The odds of attending a free, 2-day screening service were compared with sociodemographic variables, lifestyle factors, and knowledge and attitudes surrounding cervical cancer using multivariable logistic regression.

Results: Compared with women who did not attend the screening service (n=195), women who attended (n=105) were older (OR 4.29; 95% CI, 1.61-11.48, age 40-49years versus 20-29years), listened regularly to the radio (OR 24.76; 95% CI, 11.49-53.33, listened to radio 1-3 times per week versus not at all), had a poorer quality of life (OR 4.91; CI, 1.96-12.32, lowest versus highest score), had faced cost barriers to obtaining health care in the preceding year (OR 2.24; 95% CI, 1.11-4.53, yes versus no), and held a more positive attitude toward cervical cancer screening (OR 4.64; 95% CI, 1.39-15.55, least versus most averse).

Conclusion: Efforts aimed at improving screening rates in rural Tanzania need to address both structural and individual-level barriers, including knowledge and awareness of cervical cancer prevention, cost barriers to care, and access to health information.

Keywords: Barriers; Cervical cancer; Low-income countries; Rural; Screening.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Consumer Health Information
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Logistic Models
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Quality of Life
  • Radio / statistics & numerical data
  • Rural Population
  • Tanzania
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Young Adult