The Reasons Why Women Do Not Participate in the Papsmear Screening and Testing Program in Sweden


Cervical cancer is the second most common type of cancer among women worldwide. In Sweden cervical cancer is the fifteenth most common cancer among women and accounts for 1.9 percent of all female cancers. The Swedish Pap smear screening program is enabling early detection of cell changes in order that treatment may be administered to prevent the development of cancerous cells. There are approximately four hundred and fifty cases of cervical cancer detected each year in Sweden and of these cases, approximately seventy five percent occur in women who do not participate in the screening and testing program. The purpose of this study was to illustrate and examine the reasons why women did not participate in the program even though they had received a notice that they had an appointment for a Pap smear test. In the study fourteen women from a district in the west of Sweden were interviewed. In order to analyse the interviews a qualitative content analysis according to Lundman and Graneheim was used. The analysis resulted in the development of three categories which were identified as communication, treatment and subterfuge (reasons or excuses for not participating). The theme of the study was the professional treatment of the women’s conditions. In the interviews the women emphasize the importance of professional treatment that is administered with respectful and sympathetic care throughout the whole healthcare system regardless of where and when the visit was conducted. Efficient organization and clear communication would minimize the inconvenience for the women during their visit.

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A. Adolfsson, K. Granevik and K. Paulson, "The Reasons Why Women Do Not Participate in the Papsmear Screening and Testing Program in Sweden," Advances in Sexual Medicine, Vol. 2 No. 3, 2012, pp. 31-37. doi: 10.4236/asm.2012.23006.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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