Utilization and attitudes to gynecological preventive care in Sweden : A case study of Polish immigrants

University essay from Stockholms universitet/Institutionen för folkhälsovetenskap

Abstract: This study examines the accessibility and barriers that Polish immigrants face in public gynecological care in Sweden and explains their attitudes towards and frequency of gynecological visits. To understand attitudes of the research group, the study explores their knowledge about basic gynecological health topics such as Pap and HPV tests, HPV infections and vaccinations. Qualitative ethnographic methods were used in this research. Thirteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with 25 to 45-year old Polish women living in Stockholm, Sweden. Analysis was performed using descriptive and theoretical approaches. The results indicate several barriers to fully adapt to the Swedish healthcare system for Polish women. The barriers included the lack of understanding of how Swedish gynecological care works (division of specializations), problems in finding specialist care, an insufficient number of specialists, a lack of information in English or Polish, and a limited amount of knowledge among study participants about HPV tests and vaccinations. The adaptation of Polish immigrants to the Swedish system and their level of trust is influenced by their first experiences in Sweden, health literacy, experiences with the Polish private gynecological system, and the attitudes of partners and family with Swedish backgrounds or those who have long term experiences in Sweden.

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