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Tessa Wallace

on 4 May 2015

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Department of Health Services Framework - Planning for Integrated Health Promotion

Early Detection via the Papanicolaou test (pap smear)
Secondary Data:
- Indigenous women 5 times more likely to die from cervical cancer than non-indigenous Australians.
- 4.3 times higher for indigenous women in metro area
- 9.8 times higher for indigenous women in rural areas.
- 18.3 times higher for indigenous women in remote areas.

There is currently no existing data on pap smear screening records among indigenous women, especially in remote communities. This is due to difficulties identifying indigenous status, particularly on medical records. Despite this, however, research has indicated that lack of early diagnosis is the main contributing factor.

Collecting Data:
The purpose of this is to gather quantitative and qualitative information surrounding cervical cancer and pap smears, including understanding, data, opinions and recommendations from a range of primary and secondary sources.
Primary Data Collection:
1. Focus group discussion - healthcare services, medical professionals, aboriginal women leaders and/or elders, support & educational services.
2. Environmental mapping - map locations of nearest healthcare clinics for all communities.
3. Interviews/surveys - casual discussions with indigenous women of the communities.
4. Inventory of healthcare services - capabilities, accessibility, frequency of work, etc.
Organizations of Interest:
1. The Central Australian Aboriginal Congress
2. Alukura Clinic (Women's Health)
3. Amoonguna Health Service Aboriginal Corporation
4. Mpwellane Health Aboriginal Corporation.
5. Mutitjulu Health Service
Utju Health Service Aboriginal Corportation (Aveyonga)
6. Western Aranda Health Aboriginal Corportaion

Current programs to investigate:
National Cervical Screening Program, Royal Flying Doctor Service & Congress Community Health Education Program
Assessing the Findings:
Analyzing the information gathered and creating reasoning for the lack of early detection of cervical cancer via pap smears, including follow-up treatment.
Barriers Identified:
Barriers of receiving pap smears that have already been identified from existing evidence are social and environmental, including:
1. Location - lack of accessibility to healthcare in their communities
2. Transport - lack of transport facilities for women to visit the General Practitioner
3. Education - lack of understanding regarding cervical cancer and pap smears
4. Support networks - lack of social support, trust, respect, security and understanding - from both patients and medical professionals
5. Lack of availability (example; time off work) and childcare.
Intervention Necessary:

From analyzing the barriers, it is depicted where there needs to be focus, this includes:
1. Educational services
2. Social support services, including support groups and counseling.
3. Transport facilities.
4. Follow-up services.
5. Dedicated health professionals.
6. Health focus - such as health week.
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