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.