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Determinants of cancer screening awareness and participation among Indonesian women

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

for the PILAR Research Network, Sumadi L. Anwar, Gindo Tampubolon, Mieke Van Hemelrijck, Susanna H. Hutajulu, Johnathan Watkins, Wahyu Wulaningsih

Original languageEnglish
Article number208
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2018

King's Authors


Background: Cancer screening awareness and participation may be lower in low- and middle-income countries that lack established national screening programmes compared with those that do. We evaluated potential determinants of awareness about and participation in breast and cervical cancer screening, and breast self-examination (BSE) in women using survey data from Indonesia. Methods: From the fifth Indonesian Family Life Survey (2014-2015), a total of 5397 women aged 40 and older without any history of cancer who responded to questionnaires concerning Pap smears, mammography, and BSE were included. Multilevel modelling was used to assess potential determinants in relation to awareness about Pap smears and mammography, and participation in Pap smears and BSE practice. Multivariable analyses were performed to identify independent predictors of cancer screening. Results: Of the 5397 respondents, 1058 (20%) women were aware of Pap smears, of which 297 had never had the procedure. Only 251 (5%) participants were aware of mammography. A total of 605 (12%) of women reported they performed BSE. Higher education and household expenditure were consistently associated with higher odds of awareness about Pap smears and mammography (e.g. odds ratio [OR] of being aware of Pap smear and mammography: 7.82 (95% CI: 6.30-9.70) and 7.70 (6.19-9.58), respectively, for high school graduates compared to women with less educational attainment in the multivariable models), and participation in Pap smears and BSE. We also identified enabling factors linked with greater cancer screening awareness and participation, including health insurance, shorter distance to health services, and social participation. Conclusion: There are socioeconomic disparities in cancer screening awareness and participation among Indonesian women. Our findings may help inform targeted health promotion and screening for cancer in the presence of limited resources.

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