Best practice models recommended by Bhutanese refugee women for cervical and breast cancer screening in Australia: A qualitative study Academic Article uri icon


  • PURPOSE:The purpose of this paper was to explore what a refugee women's health screening program would look like if the views of Bhutanese refugee women were incorporated into service design and the approaches to targeting access to cervical and breast cancer screening. METHODS:Qualitative study, used in-depth interviews with 30 Bhutanese refugee women resettled in Melbourne, Australia. RESULTS:Two practice models were identified by refugee women: a doctor-initiated model involving opportunistic screening during consultations for other purposes; and a group screening model. Participants emphasised the need for a supportive environment with culturally appropriate services, community education and peer networks to encourage and facilitate their participation in cervical and breast cancer screening services. General practitioners can provide guidance, opportunistic screening that includes education, and advice about follow-up. The need for the routine use of professional interpreter services was reinforced. CONCLUSION:Available cervical and breast cancers screening services are not attuned to refugee women's views where this study focuses attention on the roles and practices of doctors in preventive health care for refugee women. Merging their perspectives with those of providers and policymaker's can fill the existing gaps and support to formulate the new interventions that will improve women's access to such preventative services. SO WHAT?: Refugee women resettled in high income countries are less likely to attend preventive cancer screening programs than other women, so we need to understand how to motivate them to seek regular check-ups. In this study Bhutanese refugee women resettled in Melbourne, Australia said that group screening or doctor-led care would be appealing to them.

publication date

  • 2019