Awareness and behavior about Pap smear testing in family medicine practice

Saudi Med J. 2008 Jul;29(7):1036-40.


Objective: To describe and estimate the effect of 5 socio-demographic variables and insurance status on awareness of pap smear, and the influence of sociodemographic characteristics, health insurance and knowledge score on having a pap smear test.

Methods: This is a cross-sectional study of 674 female patients, aged 17 years and above between October and December 2006, and attending family medicine clinics at Jordan University Hospital, Amman, Jordan. We collected data on socio-demographic factors, future intention to take the test and barriers to screening.

Results: Of 674 patients, 68.1% were aware of the Pap smear as a medical test. Of married women, 40.3% had a screening history. Women who were aware of the test were more likely to be <35 years of age, married, and have higher than secondary education. Women who have had a Pap test were younger and had higher knowledge scores of the Pap smear. The physicians were the main source of information regarding awareness and having the test. Female physicians, particularly gynecologists, were preferred to perform the Pap smear. Fear of the procedure and the results of the test were the major obstacles to having the test.

Conclusion: There is an imminent need for an awareness campaign; a simple 5-item knowledge test can identify a group of women, who can most benefit from targeted interventions.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Family Practice*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Jordan
  • Middle Aged
  • Papanicolaou Test*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vaginal Smears*