Cervical cancer screening among homeless women in the Greater Paris Area (France): results of the ENFAMS survey

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Little is known about the prevalence of cervical cancer screening (CCS) and its correlates among homeless women in France. The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of women who had never been screened for cervical cancer and to identify the associated factors. This cross-sectional study was based on data collected in the ENFAMS survey, which was conducted in 2013 among 764 sheltered homeless mothers in the Greater Paris Area. Robust Poisson regression models were used to estimate the association between no lifetime CCS and certain sociodemographic and health-related factors (selected from the behavioral model of vulnerable populations). Analyses were carried out separately for women with and without a regular gynaecological follow-up (RGF). The proportion of never-screeners was 33% among the women with an RGF versus 64% among those without an RGF (P<0.001). Among the latter, never having been screened for CCS was associated mainly with socioeconomic conditions, the length of time lived in France, a history of delivery in France and the duration of homelessness. In those with an RGF, the factors were mainly poor health service utilization and language difficulties. This first quantitative study of CCS among homeless women in the Greater Paris Area points to the need for it to be proposed and performed more systematically in primary care. Every contact between this hard-to-reach population and health services should be an opportunity to check their screening status and to ensure that those in need actually undergo a Pap test.

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