Predictors of cervical cancer screening in Mexican American women of reproductive age

J Health Care Poor Underserved. 1998 Feb;9(1):76-95. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2010.0187.


Several barriers impede cancer prevention in the Mexican American population. This study identified sociocultural factors that could be used to increase screening rates for cervical cancer in women of reproductive age. A survey was conducted in 1991 of 366 Mexican American women ages 18 to 40 in Tucson, Arizona, to assess current compliance with cervical cancer screening guidelines and several psychological, social, and cultural variables. Women who had never been screened (13 percent of the sample) had a knowledge deficit, no gynecological care, and no sexual activity. Women not screened annually (16 percent) lacked preventive care, imperfectly understood the Pap test, had lower self-efficacy expectations for understanding physicians, experienced higher emotional stress about the test, and were older and less acculturated. Women who have never been screened require basic education on cancer and cancer screening and policy changes increasing access to care. For women with less routine screening, preventive care, supportive attitudes, and health care skills must be encouraged.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arizona
  • Culture
  • Discriminant Analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mexican Americans*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Vaginal Smears / statistics & numerical data*