Between youth and adulthood: Focus group discussions with 30-year-old women about cervical cancer and its prevention in urban Sweden

Karin Blomberg, Catarina Widmark, Britt Marie Ternestedt, Sven Törnberg, Carol Tishelman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Background: Although there is a significant amount of research on cervical cancer screening (CCS), few studies address screening experiences of women related to reasoning about health maintenance and disease prevention in general. Research tends to neglect experiences in different phases of life and experiences of women with different screening histories. Recent literature primarily focuses on adolescents targeted for human papilloma virus vaccinations, whereas perspectives of women who need continued CCS are lacking. Objective: The aim of the study was to explore how 30-year-old women reason about health, ill health, health maintenance, and disease prevention, in relation to cervical cancer, its prevention, and screening. Methods: Through a population-based CCS registry, we randomly sampled women to attend focus group discussions stratified by previous patterns in screening history and test results. Data from 38 attendees were inductively analyzed. Results: Women's discussions encompassed temporal aspects of the past and the future, with youth in the rearview mirror and the demands of adulthood ahead. Matters related to sickness, including cancer and its prevention, were described as distant and not prioritized in this phase of life. This situation was compounded by lack of relevant information about cervical cancer and screening. Conclusions: The manner 30-year-old women self-defined themselves in the transition between youth and adulthood appears to strongly influence their reasoning about CCS and other forms of health maintenance and disease prevention. Implications For Practice: Cervical cancer screening programs are challenged to adapt both information and organizations to new cohorts of women with different needs and life situations. Copyright © 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)E11-E20
    JournalCancer Nursing
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - May 2011


    • Cervical cancer
    • Cervical smear
    • Focus group
    • Health
    • Prevention
    • Screening
    • Transition
    • Women
    • Young adult


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