Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sexually abused women much less likely to be screened for cervical cancer, research finds

Date:
October 2, 2012
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Women who have been sexually abused as children or young adults are much less likely to get screened for cervical cancer than other women, indicates new research.

Women who have been sexually abused as children or young adults are much less likely to get screened for cervical cancer than other women, indicates exploratory research published in the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care.

Figures published last year by the national NHS Cervical Cancer Screening Programme indicate that around one in five eligible women had not been tested for the disease within the previous five years, as recommended.

Screening can help cut the risk of developing an invasive and potentially fatal cervical cancer. And a recent audit showed that only just over a quarter of such cases in England arose in women who had attended for regular checks as part of the national screening programme.

The research team analysed the responses of 135 women to a survey posted on the website of the British charity, the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC). Four respondents also took part in a discussion group early in 2011.

The women were asked for their views and experiences of cervical screening, and what type of abuse they had endured.

Among those aged 24 to 65 -- the current age band for cervical screening in England -- three out of four (77.5%) said they had been screened at some point, and almost half had been screened within the previous five years.

But only just over four out of 10 (42%) of those aged 25 to 49 had been screened within the previous 3 years, in line with the current UK recommendation.

And one in four of this age group had not been screened for more than five years while one in 10 had not been screened at all.

Among the 124 women who responded to the open ended questions about what put them off screening, 32 said they had no intention of going or going again. Two said they would rather die than endure the procedure ever again.

Almost one in four (23%) respondents made comments reflecting low self esteem, and one in five (21%) said they found the procedure painful. And almost one in three (29%) said the procedure made them feel powerless, while 38% said it evoked similar feelings to those they experienced at the time of the abuse.

One in five highlighted issues relating to trust, safety and disclosure, while one in three made at least one comment relating to fear and anxiety.

One in eight also complained that few healthcare professionals understood the impact of sexual abuse on the ability to go through with the procedure and that the screening invitation letters contain no signposting to sources of information and support for those who might have been abused.

An accompanying editorial, written by NAPAC's training and development manager Sarah Kelly, points out that the charity receives around 350 calls/emails from adult survivors every month, two thirds of whom are women.

"Self worth, self esteem, and self concept....impact on how women access health services or care for and value themselves," writes Ms Kelly.

"Many of the female survivors we hear from, talk about their fears and anxieties when accessing services, particularly sexual health, gynaecology, and breast wellbeing," she says.

And she adds: "Many survivors are aware of the increased risk of not being screened and we repeatedly hear that some would rather deal with cervical cancer if it develops than face the experience of regular testing."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. L. Cadman, J. Waller, L. Ashdown-Barr, A. Szarewski. Barriers to cervical screening in women who have experienced sexual abuse: an exploratory study. Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, 2012; 38 (4): 214 DOI: 10.1136/jfprhc-2012-100378
  2. S. Kelly. The effects of childhood sexual abuse on women's lives and their attitudes to cervical screening. Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, 2012; 38 (4): 212 DOI: 10.1136/jfprhc-2012-100418

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Sexually abused women much less likely to be screened for cervical cancer, research finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121001191537.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2012, October 2). Sexually abused women much less likely to be screened for cervical cancer, research finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121001191537.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Sexually abused women much less likely to be screened for cervical cancer, research finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121001191537.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins