Polish immigrants’ access to colorectal cancer screening in Norway – a qualitative study
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBMC Health Services Research. 2022, 22, 1332. 10.1186/s12913-022-08719-3
Background: The Norwegian colorectal cancer (CRC) screening programme started in May 2022. Inequities in uptake of CRC screening is a concern, and we expect that immigrants are at risk of non-uptake. Immigrants from Poland are the most populous immigrant group in Norway. The purpose of this study was to identify and explore factors that may facilitate Polish immigrants’ access to the Norwegian CRC screening programme. Material and methods: This study was based on qualitative interviews with ten Polish immigrants in Norway. The participants represented a convenience sample that varied in terms of gender, education, employment, time in Norway, place of residence, Norwegian language skills and ties to the Norwegian-Polish community. We performed thematic content analysis to understand CRC screening from the perspective of Polish immigrants, using transnationalism and Levesque’s conceptualization of accessibility as theoretical frameworks. Results: We grouped our findings into three themes; “understanding of CRC development and the need to access health care”, “binationalism” and “improving accessibility through information”. Within these themes, various factors influenced the participants’ accessibility to CRC screening, namely knowledge about the screening and about causes, development and prevention of the disease, language, choice of screening country, trust in health personnel’s competence, information needs, methods and sources, as well as participants’ perception of the faecal immunochemical test screening user manual. These factors were further influenced by communication between the Polish community in Norway and Poland, as well as travel between the countries. Conclusion: We identified several factors that can be targeted with an aim to increase Polish immigrants’ access to the Norwegian CRC screening programme. Effective measures could include increasing cultural competence among health care providers and providing information in Polish through Polish-speaking health care professionals, general practitioners and internet portals used by the Polish-speaking community. Focusing on accessibility in a transnational setting, our findings may be of interest for policy makers and service providers planning preventive health measures for immigrants.