Cervical cancer screening knowledge and practices among Korean-American women

Cancer Nurs. 1999 Aug;22(4):297-302. doi: 10.1097/00002820-199908000-00006.


Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers of American women. The Papanicolaou (Pap) smear test for cervical screening is a widely used and effective means to reduce the morbidity and mortality rate from cervical cancer through early detection. Despite these benefits, many women have never been screened or are not screened at regular intervals. The purpose of this study was to examine cervical cancer screening knowledge and practices of Korean-American women. The sample consisted of 159 Korean-American women, 40 to 69 years of age. The 1987 Cancer Control Supplement questionnaire was translated into Korean and used to collect data. Twenty-six percent of the respondents never heard of the Pap smear test. Only 34% of respondents reported having had a Pap smear test for screening. The most frequently cited reason for not having had a Pap smear test was absence of disease symptoms. Results indicate that education and usual sources of health care were significant factors related to having heard of or having had a Pap smear test. The findings from this study have important implications for health practitioners and policy makers who serve this ethnic population.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asian Americans*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Korea / ethnology
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Oncology Nursing*
  • Papanicolaou Test*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / ethnology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Vaginal Smears*