Increasing Afghan-American Women’s Awareness of Cervical Cancer Prevention | Categories Data Blitz

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Title: Increasing Afghan-American Women’s Awareness of Cervical Cancer Prevention
Presenter: Nabilah Safi, BSN, University of Utah College of Nursing
Project Chair: Deb Penney, PhD, MS, MPH, CNM; University of Utah College of Nursing
Date: 5/14/20
Brief Description: A project to increase awareness and prevention of cervical cancer among Afghan-American women in the Salt Lake Valley
Keywords/Main Subjects: Cervical cancer, cancer prevention, Afghan-American women
Copyright: copyright Nabilah Safi ©2020



The purpose of this project is to raise awareness of cervical cancer (CC) screening and prevention among Afghan American women in the Salt Lake Valley.


Participants’ baseline knowledge, barriers, and screening behaviors were assessed through a pre-education questionnaire. In groups or as individuals, Afghan American women (n = 43) engaged in an educational discussion about CC prevention which was presented by the PI in their native language (Pashto or Farsi). Participants filled out a post-education questionnaire that evaluated comprehension and intent to be screened or receive the HPV vaccination. Scores on pre and post questionnaires were compared for changes in correct answers.


Participants showed an overall increase in knowledge regarding CC, screening, and prevention by a total participant mean increase of 59% on a scored questionnaire. Barriers to care were attributed to lack of female provider, lack of information, embarrassment, and afraid or uncomfortable with the procedure. Logistical barriers to care in this population included lack of insurance, transportation, and language. Following the session, nearly 77% of the participants indicated they were very likely to receive screening, nearly 47% indicated they intended to be vaccinated, and 60% intended to vaccinate their children.


Culturally-tailored educational programs are necessary to address barriers to care. Immigrant groups can hurdle some barriers to care if they have an understanding of the health system and available services. This educational program improved knowledge for Afghan American women in regard to cervical cancer causes, screening and health access and can lead to preventative steps in improving their overall risk.