Cervical cancer screening in Canada: 2021/2022

Strategies to improve access to screening for rural and remote populations

Rural and remote populations face a variety of barriers in accessing preventative care, including longer travel times, higher costs, and fewer available healthcare resources, and thus may be less likely to access or participate in cancer screening.

Six provinces have strategies which they employ to improve access to screening in these populations. Most of the strategies have been co-developed with the community, and many include mobile screening clinics.

Strategies to improve access to screening for rural and remote populations*

P/T Strategies used Strategy co-developed with community? Description of activities to improve access to screening for rural and remote populations
AB · Media (small and mass)
· Provider assessment and feedback
· Mobile screening clinics
· Expand provider scope of practice
All: ✓ · Pilot nurse practitioner led integrated mobile screening services (mammogram, Pap, and FIT).
· RN Pap manual supports nurses with additional training to perform cervical cancer screening.
MB · Comprehensive letter campaign sent to all eligible persons
· Cross program promotion
All: ✓ · Invitations, recalls, and reminders are actively sent to eligible persons
· Two mobile breast screening clinics offer education on colon cancer screening and provide information on accessing test kits
ON · Mobile screening coach All: ✓ · Mobile coaches in select regions (North West, Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant) provide screening services to people who do not have a PCP or face barriers accessing existing screening services (due to transportation or other barriers)
NB 1. Direct mailing of program correspondence to participants
2. Awaiting results of under-screened population project
2. ✓
· Program invitations and reminder letters are mailed directly to participant regardless of area of residence.
· Plan to leverage the recommendations from the ongoing project ‘Developing Strategies for Underscreened Populations through Community Engagement’.
PE · Regional pap clinics in health centres · Rural: regional pap clinics are offered (approximately 45 minute drive)
NL · Collaboration with primary care providers, regional networks and community groups to share regional data, provide education and promote program.
· Provision of program promotional and education materials to encourage program participation

*Quebec does not have an organized screening program available so there are no concerted strategies in place.