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BACKGROUND: Minority women in Canada are less likely to be screened for cervical cancer than their counterparts in the general population, despite the fact that the proportion of these women who consult a general practitioner about their health each year is similar to minority women. This study examined the physician and practice characteristics associated with Pap testing and perceived barriers to Pap testing of family physicians serving the Caribbean community of Toronto.

METHODS: A mail-back questionnaire was sent to Toronto family physicians practicing in neighborhoods with a high proportion of Caribbean Canadians.

RESULTS: Although 79.7% of the 64 participating physicians reported that they were 'very likely" to include Pap testing during an annual check-up, nearly half did not believe that the majority of Caribbean patients were actually screened. The amount of time a physician spent on patient education was significantly associated with his/her likelihood of screening. Male physicians who reported a high proportion of Caribbean female patients in their practices were significantly less likely to screen for cervical cancer than those who saw fewer Caribbean patients.

CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that an increased emphasis on patient education is important to increase screening practice and that physician gender may be of major importance to the Caribbean community.


Cancer screen; Cervix uteri—Cancer; Medical screening; Minority women--Medical care; Patient education; Physician and patient; Women immigrants


Community-Based Research | Counseling Psychology | Health Psychology | Immune System Diseases | Medicine and Health | Psychiatry and Psychology | Psychology | Virus Diseases


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