Disparities in Cervical Cancer Screening Among Women With Disabilities: A National Database Study in South Korea

  • Citation: Shin, Dong Wook, Jeong-Won Lee, Jin Hyung Jung, Kyungdo Han, So Young Kim, Kui Son Choi, Jong Heon Park, and Jong Hyock Park. “Disparities in Cervical Cancer Screening Among Women With Disabilities: A National Database Study in South Korea.” Journal of Clinical Oncology 36, no. 7 (September 20, 2018).
    • Topics:
    • Movements for Inclusion
    • Keywords:
    • East Asia
    • South Korea
    • women with disabilities
    • cervical cancer
    • screening
    • health

Using the linked administrative database in Korea, we investigated (1) whether cervical cancer screening participation differed by the presence of varying degrees and types of disability; (2) trends in the cervical cancer screening rate relative to disabilities over time; and (3) factors associated with cervical cancer screening. We linked national disability registration data with national cancer screening program data. Age-standardized participation rates were analyzed for each year during the period 2006 to 2015, according to the presence, type, and severity of disabilities. Factors associated with undergoing cervical cancer screening were examined by multivariate logistic regression with the most current data (ie, 2014 to 2015). The age-adjusted screening rate for cervical cancer screening in women with disabilities increased from 20.8% in 2006% to 42.1% in 2015 (change, +21.3%); however, among women without disabilities, it increased from 21.6% to 53.5% (change: +31.9%) during that time. Disability was associated with a lower screening rate (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.71; 95% CI, 0.71 to 0.72). Screening rates were markedly lower in women with severe disabilities (aOR, 0.42; 95% CI, 0.42 to 0.42) and women with autism (aOR, 0.06; 95% CI 0.03 to 0.11), intellectual disability (aOR, 0.25; 95% CI, 0.25 to 0.26), brain injury (aOR, 0.311; 95% CI, 0.31 to 0.32), ostomy (aOR, 0.36; 95% CI, 0.33 to 0.38), or mental disorder (aOR, 0.43; 95% CI, 0.42 to 0.44). Despite the availability of free screening, a significant disparity was found in cervical cancer screening participation, especially in women with severe disabilities and those with mental disabilities. The identification of barriers associated with decreased screening rates in women with disabilities has important implications for the design of tailored interventions and health care policies to improve cervical cancer screening and outcomes in this vulnerable population.

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