Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
Print version ISSN 1413-8123
GONCALVES, Carla Vitola et al. Missed opportunities for cervical cancer prevention during prenatal care. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2011, vol.16, n.5, pp. 2501-2510. ISSN 1413-8123. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232011000500020.
Pregnancy constitutes an excellent opportunity for the prevention of cervical carcinoma since the gynecological examination is part of routine prenatal care. A transversal study was conducted in which a total of 445 postnatal women were interviewed using standardized questionnaires. The prevalence of an up-to-date cytopathological exam was 38.9% at the beginning of pregnancy, reaching 59.1% during the postnatal period (p>0.001). Postnatal women aged 19 years or less, non-white, with less than 11 years schooling, family income of less than one minimum wage, sexually active at 15 years of age or less, with the beginning of prenatal care after the 1st trimester, and receiving prenatal care at healthcare units of the Unified Health System had a lower prevalence of cytopathological examination. Adjusted analysis revealed that the variables under study were not significantly associated with cytopathological coverage, though the incidence of prenatal care showed a prevalence ratio of 1.18 (95% CI: 0.98-1.42). The local health service proved ineffective, recvealing the need to increase cytopathological coverage and train health professionals regarding the importance of routine prenatal procedures.
Keywords : Prenatal care; Prevention of cervical cancer; Assessing the quality of healthcare; Health inequalities.