Barriers to Cervical Cancer Screening and Prevention in Young Korean Immigrant Women: Implications for Intervention Development

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This study aimed to identify major barriers to Papanicolaou (Pap) test uptake and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine acceptability. Three focus groups with 16 young Korean immigrant women residing in a community in the Midwest were conducted. Braun and Clarke’s six phases of thematic analysis were used to develop themes. Three major themes emerged as barriers: (a) limited knowledge about cervical cancer and preventive behaviors, (b) culture-specific barriers, and (c) low accessibility to health care services. These themes were multifactorial and interrelated barriers to Pap test uptake and HPV vaccine acceptability among young Korean immigrant women. These findings indicate that culturally tailored cervical cancer education is needed to promote Pap test uptake and HPV vaccination in this underserved population.

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