Working towards a comprehensive understanding of HPV and cervical cancer among Indigenous women: A qualitative systematic review

Sneha Sethi, Brianna Poirier, Karen Canfell, Megan Smith, Gail Garvey, Joanne Hedges, Xiangqun Ju, Lisa M. Jamieson

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    Abstract

    Rationale Indigenous peoples carry a disproportionate burden of infectious diseases and cancers and are over-represented among the socially disadvantaged of most countries. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a risk factor and causative agent of cervical, oropharyngeal and other cancers. Recent literature shows evidence of Indigenous populations being at increased risk of HPV infections and its associated cancers. Objective This is a qualitative systematic review. The objective of this study was to explore the experiences and barriers Indigenous women face in relation to HPV awareness, knowledge and cervical screening, in order to better understand factors that may mitigate against or facilitate prevention efforts for HPV infection and associated cancers. Methods Two investigators independently searched MEDLINE, PubMed, SCOPUS and Web of Science databases (for articles published from inception until 30 June 2020) using a prespecified search strategy to identify qualitative studies on narratives of Indigenous women regarding HPV infection awareness, knowledge and cervical screening, across all geographic and income-level settings. Using a € meta-study' approach, a social ecological model of cervical screening, infection and associated cancer prevention among Indigenous populations was formulated. Results Five core themes were identified and formulated within the social ecological model; intrapersonal factors, interpersonal factors, institutional/organisational factors, sociocultural/community factors and public policy. These collectively formed the proposed social ecological model of HPV infection awareness and cervical cancer prevention among Indigenous women. This model has been synthesised by taking into account personal stories of Indigenous women and healthcare workers, thus offering a more nuanced, organised, structured and culturally sensitive approach to policy translation. Conclusion The social ecological model of HPV infection awareness and cervical cancer prevention among Indigenous women offers a holistic and practical approach for Indigenous health policy makers. It clearly addresses the high risk of Indigenous populations at a global level in experience of both HPV infection and HPV-related cancers. PROSPERO registration number CRD42020207643.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere050113
    Number of pages22
    JournalBMJ Open
    Volume11
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2021

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