The Experiences of Vietnamese Immigrant Women in Taiwan Who Do Not Undergo Pap Smear Tests
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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe the experiences of Vietnamese immigrant women who have never undergone or do not regularly undergo Pap tests in Taiwan. Methods: A qualitative study was conducted based on semi-structured individual in-depth interviews. The formal interviews lasted an average of 40 minutes, ranging from 30 to 65 minutes. A total of 20 Vietnamese immigrant women participated in this study. The inclusion criteria were those women who: (a) have never undergone or do not regularly (less than once a year) undergo a Pap test; (b) have national health insurance; (c) were at least thirty years old; (d) have not had a hysterectomy; and (e) were able to communicate verbally in Mandarin or Taiwanese. Data were digitally voice-recorded for subsequent coding. Non-verbal data were also collected during the interview to provide the researcher with references in analyzing data. The data were analyzed using Krippendorff's content analysis. The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of a Medical University Hospital, Taiwan. Results: The experiences of Vietnamese immigrant women reflected four themes, including a lack of health literacy, demands of female healthcare providers, negative experiences of the Pap test, and personal reasons. Conclusion: The themes could serve as references for the government and healthcare providers to improve the Pap test rate, and enhance the effectiveness of healthcare services for immigrant women in Taiwan. The findings can also provide references in making appropriate healthcare policy for immigrant women in other countries which encounter similar issues on marriage immigration.