Print version ISSN 0213-9111
TEJADA-TAYABAS, Luz María; HERNANDEZ-IBARRA, Luis Eduardo and PASTOR-DURANGO, María del Pilar. Strengths and weaknesses of a cervical cancer detection and control program: a qualitative evaluation in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Gac Sanit [online]. 2012, vol.26, n.4, pp. 311-316. ISSN 0213-9111. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gaceta.2011.09.023.
Objective: To identify, from the perspective of the health staff, the strengths and weaknesses of the program for the detection and control of cervical cancer through a qualitative assessment implemented in three health centers in the city of San Luis Potosi, Mexico, from August 2008 to November 2009. Methods: A qualitative evaluation was performed. Nine providers participated in the study. The providers were selected by purposeful sampling using a voluntary participation criterion. Initially, information on the characteristics and the context in which the program operates was obtained from the health centers. Later, 18 semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine informants to probe their perspective. A directed content analysis was used. Results: The strengths reported by staff were the fact that the program is free of charge, the availability of material resources, and the strategies that helped encourage the recruitment of women and their access to screening. The main weaknesses consisted of limitations in human resources and physical infrastructure, inefficient organization of activities, the staff's poor technical training, limited promotion of activities, and limitations in monitoring women with positive results. Conclusions: This study reveals the need for increased human resources, changes in regulations and reorganization of the program's actions in some health centers to ensure the quality of the service, meet women's needs, and promote coverage in all the program's actions.
Keywords : Qualitative evaluation; Health services; Cervical cancer; Mexico.