Access to Health Care: Social Determinants of Preventive Cancer Screening Use in Northern British Columbia
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The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which social factors are influential in determining women’s access to cancer screening services in Prince George, British Columbia. Specifically, this study evaluated the association of age, income, education, work status, disability, marital status, and immigrant status with previous use of screening mammography and Pap tests. Data was obtained from the 1994 National Population Health Survey, which contains a sample of 416 women from the Prince George area. A series of logistic regression analyses were used to distinguish ever versus never been screened as well as recency of previous screening. Participation rates in screening mammography in Prince George are comparatively high; however, no association was found between social factors and previous mammography use. This suggests women in Prince George are participating in mammography services regardless of social background. Participation rates in Pap test screening in Prince George are high and are similar to provincial averages; however, while a large percentage of women have been screened, this percentage varies across social groups. Immigrant women, single women, and women with less education are over represented among women who have never had a Pap test. In addition, older women are less likely to obtain a recent Pap test when compared to younger women. This study suggests that certain groups of women in northern British Columbia experience low participation in health services, resulting in a higher risk for poor health and a poor quality of life.
KeywordsImmigrant Woman British Columbia Cancer Screening Program National Population Health Survey Screening Mammography Program
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