From state care to self-care: cancer screening behaviours among Russian-speaking Australian women

Victoria Team, Lenore Hilda Manderson, Milica Markovic

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17 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, we report on a small qualitative scale study with immigrant Russian-speaking Australian women, carers of dependent family members. Drawing on in-depth interviews, we explore women s health-related behaviours, in particular their participation in breast and cervical cancer screening. Differences in preventive health care policies in country of origin and Australia explain their poor participation in cancer screening. Our participants had grown up in the former Soviet Union, where health checks were compulsory but where advice about frequency and timing was the responsibility of doctors. Following migration, women continued to believe that the responsibility for checks was their doctor s, and they maintained that, compared with their experience of preventive medicine in the former Soviet Union, Australian practice was poor. Women argued that if reproductive health screening were important in cancer prevention, then health care providers would take a lead role to ensure that all women participated. Data suggest how women s participation in screening may be improved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130 - 137
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian Journal of Primary Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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