Sociodemographic and attitudinal correlates of cervical screening uptake in a national sample of women in Britain

Soc Sci Med. 2005 Dec;61(11):2460-5. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2005.07.017. Epub 2005 Aug 18.


Sociodemographic and attitudinal correlates of self-reported cervical screening uptake were investigated among 1307 women in the target age group who participated in two national surveys conducted in Britain in 1999. Evidence for inequalities in screening uptake was mixed. Of the socioeconomic indicators, only age of completed full-time education showed a significant effect in the multivariate analysis. The strong effects of car ownership and housing tenure in the univariate analyses were eliminated by controlling for marital status, which showed a robust association with uptake. Uptake was highest among married and separated women and lowest among single and widowed women. There was no evidence that the effects of marital status and education were mediated by the attitudinal variables. Anticipated embarrassment and attitudes to screening (e.g., "There's no point going for screening if you don't have any symptoms") were significant independent predictors of uptake. These findings suggest that information campaigns need to address feelings of embarrassment and lack of understanding of the rationale for screening and that efforts should be made to encourage single and widowed women to attend.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United Kingdom
  • Vaginal Smears / statistics & numerical data*