Bayo Lapawol: Haitian Women's Barriers to Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control

Authors: Moise RK, Jonas E, Campa E, Clisbee M, Kobetz E.

Category: Global Cancer Research
Conference Year: 2020

Abstract Body:
Purpose: This study aims to increase understanding of barriers to cervical cancer prevention and control in Haitian women using photovoice, a Community-Based Participatory Research methodology which engaged community members in all aspects of the research process through storytelling and digital media to produce culturally informed results. Methods: In collaboration with Zanmi Lasante/Partners in Health, women were recruited from Artibonite, Haiti. The methodology followed Wang & Burris' nine-step recommendations for photovoice. Consented participants were 1) trained to use a digital camera and prompted to capture their screening barriers; 2) interviewed to unpack and analyze their images; and 3) invited to participate in follow-up focus groups for refined discussion and data triangulation. Interviews were conducted in Haitian Creole then tape-recorded and transcribed for content analysis using Nvivo software. Results: The sample included women(n=25) who were on average 42 years of age(SD=9.8, range 26-57) and born and raised in Haiti. All participants received some schooling with the highest level of education attainment varying from elementary(n=3), middle(n=6), and high school(n=4), as well as college(n=12). Over three quarters of the sample were unmarried (n=19). Approximately half of the sample were unemployed(n=13). None of the participants reported smoking. The majority of the sample reported no screening history(n=20). Results highlighted multiple barriers, including gendered family responsibilities, concerns about quality of care, financial and time constraints, worries about discomfort and exam efficacy, and emotional deterrents such as desperation. Conclusions: Study results call for more extensive examination of the heterogeneity within the racial category of Black to unearth transnational, multifaceted determinants of health including sociocultural health behaviors and socio-environmental health access. Future interventions in Haitian women's healthcare must include development of proactive policies, which deliberately pressure the government and global community to prioritize health infrastructure while simultaneously educating women about and dispelling fear of cervical cancer, thus empowering Haitian women to live their healthiest lives

Keywords: Cervical cancer, prevention, control, women's health