Date of Award

1-1-2000

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Health Science

Faculty

Faculty of Communications, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr Lynne Hunt

Second Advisor

Glenda Jackson

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to study the attitudes, practices and knowledge of Greek women in Perth, Western Australia, regarding cervical cancer screening. This is important because no study has yet examined the cervical screening pattern of this group, despite their low participation rate in screening programs. Qualitative semi-structured interviews among 15 Greek women in Perth were used for data collection. Interviews were conducted both in English and Greek. Eight out of the 15 women interviewed did not participate in frequent screening and many had had only one Pap test in their life. Culture and religion influenced negative attitudes towards cervical screening; these combined with strong emotions of fear towards the disease and lack of knowledge about the purpose of Pap tests, to create powerful barriers to screening. Preoccupation with morality and misconceptions about heredity and the symptomatology of cervical cancer also influenced attitudes towards Pap tests. Further, women's decisions to screen were influenced by the negative behaviour of General Practitioners. A preference was expressed for specialists/gynaecologists and an unwillingness to attend women's health centres.

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