Background: Sheltered, homeless women disproportionately experience cervical dysplasia and cervical cancer. Low rates of Pap smear screening contribute to late diagnosis with accompanying increased morbidity and mortality. Self-efficacy (SE) has been demonstrated to be predictive of several health behaviors, but limited evidence about SE for Pap smear screening exists.
Objectives: To develop, test, and refine the conceptually based Self-Efficacy Scale for Pap Smear Screening Participation (SES-PSSP).
Methods: This correlational, descriptive study included a purposive sampling of sheltered women (N = 161).
Results: The 20-item SES-PSSP demonstrated acceptable initial validity and reliability. Reliability estimates of stability (>or=84%) and internal consistency (alpha = .95) exceeded criteria. Content validity and construct validity were supported (e.g., common factor analysis and predictive model testing that included SE, decisional balance, knowledge regarding Pap smear screening, demographics, health-related behaviors, health status, and personal beliefs about risks for cervical cancer and dysplasia). Self-efficacy, decisional balance, illicit drug usage, and age predicted 28% of the variance in stages of change (precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance) for Pap smear screening participation.
Discussion: The SES-PSSP provides a new scale for measuring SE pertinent to Pap smear screening participation in a vulnerable, ethnically diverse sample of sheltered, inner-city women. Validity testing demonstrated that the SE concept was predictive of Pap smear screening behavior, suggesting that SE-based interventions tailored to the SES-PSSP subscale or total scores could increase screening. A 10-minute completion time supports feasibility for use in the clinic setting.