Papanicolaou testing among Vietnamese Americans: results of a multifaceted intervention

Am J Prev Med. 2006 Jul;31(1):1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2006.03.005.


Background: Vietnamese-American women have the highest incidence of cervical cancer of any ethnic group, and they underutilize Papanicolaou (Pap) tests.

Design: Development and implementation of a multifaceted intervention using community-based participatory research (CBPR) methodology and evaluated with a quasi-experimental controlled design with cross-sectional pre-intervention (2000) and post-intervention (2004) telephone surveys. Data were analyzed in 2005.

Setting: Santa Clara County, California (intervention community) and Harris County, Texas (comparison community).

Participants: Vietnamese-American women aged 18 and older (n =1566 at pre-intervention and 2009 at post-intervention).

Intervention: A community-academic coalition developed and implemented six components: Vietnamese-language media campaign, lay health worker outreach, Vietnamese Pap clinic, patient registry/reminder system, restoration of a government-funded low-cost screening program, and continuing medical education for Vietnamese physicians.

Outcome measure: Pap test receipt.

Results: Overall response rate was 56%. Pap test receipt increased in the intervention (77.5% to 84.2%, p <0.001), but not in the comparison community (73.9% to 70.6%, p >0.05). In multivariate analyses, the intervention was associated with increased Pap test receipt (odds ratio [OR]=2.02, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.37-2.99). Other factors associated with increased Pap testing included longer U.S. residence, having health insurance, having a regular site of care, having a respectful physician, having a non-Vietnamese or a female Vietnamese physician, and recalling exposure to Vietnamese-language media about Pap testing. Factors associated with reduced likelihood of Pap test receipt were age 65 years and older, never married, less than high school education, and income below poverty level.

Conclusions: A multifaceted CBPR intervention was associated with increased Pap test receipt among Vietnamese-American women in one community.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • California
  • Community Health Services / organization & administration
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Papanicolaou Test*
  • Texas
  • Vaginal Smears / statistics & numerical data*
  • Vietnam / ethnology