Date of Conferral





Health Services


Dr. Magdeline Aagard


AbstractHealthcare disparities exist in cervical cancer screening worldwide particularly in women of East African descent compared to non-African women. Previous research has investigated the reasons for low participation in cervical cancer screening among Blacks, minorities, and immigrant populations. Limited research has focused on immigrant women in the United States of America, specifically immigrants from Somalia who currently live in St. Cloud, Minnesota. The purpose of this qualitative study was to understand the perception of Somali immigrant women ages 25 - 45 years who have not earned a college degree and their lived experiences with cervical cancer screening. Two conceptual frameworks were used in this research: Thomas and Penchansky’s theory of access and Leininger's culture care model. Data were collected via face-to-face or virtual structured interviews which was then transcribed verbatim, and themes developed. Three research questions guided the study, which included: understanding the lived experiences of Somali immigrant women on accessing cervical cancer screening services; how awareness of cervical cancer screening services may impact access; and the role of acculturation in the experiences of cervical cancer screening. Key findings from this study included the themes (a) accessibility to provider, (b) accessibility to screening, (c) influence of mentors/family role models, (d) emotional and physical discomfort, (e) lack of awareness, (f) enhance understanding, (g) lack of trust in the healthcare system, and (h) importance of religious beliefs. The participants’ suggestions and recommendations could be used to improve the relationship between patients and providers as well as increase cervical cancer screening rates in this population.