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A descriptive analysis of health practices, barriers to healthcare and the unmet need for cervical cancer screening in the Lower Napo River region of the Peruvian Amazon

Collins, JH; Bowie, D; Shannon, G; (2019) A descriptive analysis of health practices, barriers to healthcare and the unmet need for cervical cancer screening in the Lower Napo River region of the Peruvian Amazon. Women's Health , 15 10.1177/1745506519890969. Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To undertake an descriptive analysis of the health needs, healthcare practices and barriers to accessing healthcare faced by women in Lower Napo River Region, Peru, and to understand health literacy regarding cervical cancer and the need for more effective cervical cancer screening services. METHODS: We performed a community-based needs assessment adapting Demographic and Health survey methodology with additional questions determining female health literacy on cervical cancer and assessing the availability and need for cervical cancer screening services. We surveyed women (N = 121) across all households in six communities along the Lower Napo River, Loreto, Peru, in May 2015. Data were collected as part of the larger Amazon Community Based Participation Cervical Cancer Screen-and-Treat Programme. Survey data were compared to national results from ENDES 2014. RESULTS: Comparison between our findings and the ENDES 2014 survey highlighted considerable inequality between indigenous or mixed indigenous, rural populations in Loreto, Peru, and national population data averages over level of formal education, literacy, barriers to accessing healthcare and maternal and sexual health. Even though only 5.9% (N = 7/117) of women had no formal health insurance coverage, money was reported as the leading barrier accessing healthcare (N = 88/117, 75.2%). Health literacy regarding cervical and breast cancer was poor. A high proportion of women highlighted fear of screening processes (70.8%, N = 80/113) and lack of available services (53.6%, N = 60/112) as barriers to cervical cancer screening. CONCLUSION: Although progress has been made in improving healthcare access in Peru, such gains have not been experienced equitably and women living in remote communities face persistent marginalization regarding their health. There is a significant need for education related to and screening for cervical cancer in this region that is tailored to the reality of women's lives in remote communities in Loreto.

Type: Article
Title: A descriptive analysis of health practices, barriers to healthcare and the unmet need for cervical cancer screening in the Lower Napo River region of the Peruvian Amazon
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/1745506519890969
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/1745506519890969
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Keywords: Amazon, Peru, cervical cancer, inequality, non-communicable diseases, prevention, screening
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10088399
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