Early breast and cervical cancer detection is important for increased survival rates and health outcomes, unfortunately women with disabilities are less likely than women without disabilities to receive these important women’s health screenings. The differences in women’s health screening occur due to barriers like access issues, lack of information or knowledge, lack of provider referrals, and other reasons women struggle to get screened. There is currently no data in Kentucky related to the barriers women with disabilities experience when accessing women’s health screenings. The Kentucky Inclusive Health Collaborative (KIHC) at the University of Kentucky’s Human Development Institute has partnered with the Kentucky Women’s Cancer Screening Program (KWCSP) to identify these barriers for women with disabilities across the state. Results from this partnership will take the first step in working to address the barriers for women with disabilities to access quality women’s health screenings and follow up care. KWCSP is a federally funded, public health program providing free or low-cost breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to eligible women in Kentucky.
Through this important partnership KIHC is developing an assessment for women to let us know their experiences with women’s health including specific questions about breast and cervical cancer screenings. This information will help guide the next step efforts in KIHC working to support KWCSP in reducing these barrier issues and promoting equal access for all women to their women’s health program and services for cancer screenings.