Aim: Cervical cancer mortality is high in Hungary, with more than 400 deaths per annum. In 2003, a national cervical cancer screening programme was launched to provide screening services for women who otherwise would not use services themselves. The aim of this survey was to study the socioeconomic and lifestyle factors related to participation in the organised cervical cancer screening programme.
Methods: A questionnaire-based health survey was conducted using a representative sample of women from 25-65 years of age in 11 Hungarian counties. A logistic regression analysis was used to study the association between participation in the screening programme and socioeconomic and lifestyle factors.
Results: 74% (95% CI: 70-77%) of the target population underwent a screening examination within the previous three years. Only 15% (95% CI: 5-35%) of the women, who received an invitation letter and took part in the organised screening programme, had never been previously examined by gynaecologist. The participation rates decreased significantly (p<0.05) for those subjects aged >44 years, retired, participants with low income, living in small settlements, and reported to be heavy smokers.
Conclusion: Although the overall proportion of Hungary's population that undergoes regular screening for cervical cancer is not low, the organised national cancer screening programme was ineffective in engaging women not regularly visiting their gynaecologist for examination.
Keywords: Hungary; cervical cancer screening; socioeconomic factors.
Copyright© by the National Institute of Public Health, Prague 2015.