Department of Public Health and Nursing, NTNU, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NO-7491 Trondheim, Norway; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, St Olavs Hospital, NO-7030 Trondheim, Norway; Department of Women' and Children's Health, Uppsala University, SE-752 36 Uppsala, Sweden. Electronic address: [Email]
OBJECTIVE : Despite being preventable, cervical cancer remains the most common cancer among women in Nepal, a country where there is no nationwide screening programme. Hence, the objective was to investigate and better understand Nepali women's perceptions on barriers to participation in cervical cancer screening and what might facilitate their participation. METHODS : A qualitative study design with focus group discussions was employed and women were purposively invited. The interviews were tape-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analysed using manifest content analysis. RESULTS : Women had misconceptions about the screening and low levels of knowledge. Sociocultural barriers, service providers' behaviour, geographical challenges, and limited finances were all perceived as obstacles to attending screening centres. Facilitating factors, such as participation in awareness programmes and support from family and women's groups, may convince women to attend screening clinics. CONCLUSIONS : The findings contribute information on Nepalese women's perceptions of cervical cancer screening. They may serve to support the Government of Nepal's promotion of cervical cancer screening and treatment as a right for all Nepali women, whenever necessary.