Public Defence: Trude Andreassen

MNSc Trude Andreassen at Institute of Basic Medical Sciences will be defending the thesis “Challenges in encouraging and maintaining participation in cervical cancer screening programmes in Romania and Norway” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

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Photo: Kreftregisteret/Elisabeth Jakobsen

Trial Lecture – time and place

See Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Assistant Professor Erika Zelko, Public Health Centre Ljubljana, Slovenia, Medical Faculty Maribor and Nursing School AME
  • Second opponent: Professor Tom Ivar Lund Nilsen, Department of Public Health and Nursing, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Professor Anne Cathrine (Annetine) Staff, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

  Professor Jon Håvard Loge, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Professor Elisabete Weiderpass, Director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)


Women from the Roma population have very low participation rate in Romania's national cervical cancer screening programme. Romania has at the same time Europe's highest incidence and mortality rates of cervical cancer. In Norway the participation rate to the national screening programme is high while the incidence and mortality rates of cervical cancer are low. It was, however, unknown if the introduction of human papillomavirus (HPV) testing would lead to increased anxiety and depression and if screening participation would decrease due to mental distress.

In the dissertation Challenges in encouraging and maintaining participation in cervical cancer screening programs in Romania and Norway, Trude Andreassen and colleagues  have examined screening participation in two different European countries.

In Romania they found that there had been little interaction between those who  offered screening and the targeted women. Despite the existence of a free-of-charge screening program, many Roma women were unaware of its existence, that it included them, and that participation could improve their health. Participation was not associated with ethnicity, but with the number of sexual partners, knowing about the screening opportunity and living in urban areas. The essence of the study shows  the importance of user involvement in the planning, mobilization and implementation of the programme, aiming to build trust between those offering screening and the potential participants.

In Norway, they found that women who were screened with HPV did not experience increased anxiety and depression as compared to women screened with the conventional cell-sample. Nor was the severity of the screening results different in relation to anxiety and depression scores between women screened with cell-sample or HPV testing. Based on the findings of the study it is concluded that there is no reason to assume that HPV testing will lead to reduced attendance to screening based on anxiety and depression.

Additional information

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Published Aug. 7, 2019 10:32 AM - Last modified Aug. 7, 2019 4:11 PM