Qualitative assessment of attitudes toward cervical cancer (CC) screening and HPV self-sampling among African American (AA) and Sub Saharan African Immigrant (SAI) women

Adebola Adegboyega, Adeyimika T. Desmennu, Mark Dignan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Despite the availability of preventive methods for cervical cancer (CC), uptake has been low among African American and Sub-Saharan Immigrant (AA/SAI) women. The purpose of this study was to understand AA/SAI women’s values and beliefs of CC screening and explore willingness, acceptability, and concerns related to the HPV self-sampling method for CC. Design: Thirty AA/SAI women participated in one of six focus groups, each lasted 60–90 min, and were held over Zoom video conferencing. The sessions were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and checked for accuracy by research staff prior to data analysis. Transcripts were content analyzed by two qualitatively trained research staff. NVivo software was used for data management and analysis. Results: The average age of participants was 33.67 ± 9.03, more than half were not married (53.3%), and less than half reported having health insurance coverage (46.7%). Participants included 16 AA and 14 SAI. Three main themes emerged from data analysis. (1) Beliefs and values related to CC Screening, (2) perceived barriers to attending CC screening, (3) recommendations to motivate regular CC screening. In addition, three factors emerged in the discussion on the HPV self-sampling method: confidence in ability to self-sample for CC, willingness to use HPV self-sampling kit, and result delivery. Conclusions: This study identified a variety of reasons for the disproportionately low utilization of CC prevention services among AA/SAI women. Multidimensional approaches including educational and community engagement programs for this population could improve CC screening uptake and adoption of HPV self-sampling among AA/SAI women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1769-1786
Number of pages18
JournalEthnicity and Health
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Division of Cancer Prevention, National Cancer Institute: [grant number Award Number K01 CA251487.]; University of Kentucky College of Nursing Start up fund.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • African American
  • HPV self-sampling
  • Sub-Saharan African Immigrants
  • cervical cancer
  • cervical cancer screening
  • focus group

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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