UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Cervical cancer screening uptake and experiences of Black African immigrant women in the context of a comprehensive provincial screening program in B.C. Canada Ojerinde, Abosede Catherine


Cervical cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related death among African women. Unfortunately, in most sub-Saharan African nations, the healthcare systems are insufficiently structured to address the health needs of individuals, and women are especially vulnerable if they are unaware that cervical cancer is preventable with frequent screening and early treatment. Immigrant women are less likely than the general population in Canada to participate in cervical screening and are substantially more likely to present with advanced-stage cervical cancer. Although some authors have investigated the viewpoints of immigrant women and healthcare providers in Canada, the viewpoints of Black African immigrant women in British Columbia have not yet been explored. In this study, I employed a qualitative research design, drawing on Interpretive Description to begin to address this gap in our knowledge. Physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic forced me to reconsider my intended data collection strategy. My data collection methods, therefore, included informal phone conversations, in-depth interviews, analytic memos, and a reflexive notebook to capture the subjective experiences of the 20 Black African immigrant women interviewed for this study. In keeping with a constructionist epistemology, I used the Interpretive Description methodology to guide my ethnographic analytic process. Using a socio-ecological theoretical lens, I also employed intersectionality as an analytic tool to examine how study participants' numerous interwoven social identities interacted with and influenced one another. Ultimately, my findings point to how the participants’ social identities interact with different contexts of Canadian society and its healthcare system to create distinctive barriers or problems with cervical cancer screening uptake for this population. My hope is that these findings will provide a better understanding of the health needs of Black African immigrant women in order to support their cervical screening uptake.

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