Cultural views, English proficiency and regular cervical cancer screening among older Chinese American women

Womens Health Issues. Jul-Aug 2010;20(4):272-8. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2010.03.010.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between cultural views, English proficiency, and regular cervical cancer screening among older Chinese women.

Methods: The study sample consisted of 473 asymptomatic Chinese participants aged 50 and older recruited from community organizations. The study outcome was regular receipt of Pap tests, defined as having a recent test in the past 3 years and another within 3 years before the present test. Eastern cultural views were measured by a 30-item scale that assessed beliefs about illness and cancer. Sociodemographics, cancer worry, physician recommendation, health insurance, and access barriers were included as covariates in multiple logistic regression models.

Results: A total of 239 (50.5%) Chinese American women had regular Pap tests. Findings indicate that 1) women who held more traditional Chinese cultural views were less likely to be a regular screener (odds ratio [OR], 0.96; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.94-0.99); 2) women with higher English proficiency were 1.39 times more likely to have received regular Pap tests than women with lower proficiency (OR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.13-1.72).

Conclusion: Cultural views and English proficiency were significant predictors of older Chinese American women regular receipt of Pap tests. Future research is needed to identify and design culturally and linguistically competent programs to promote cervical cancer screening.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Asian Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Communication Barriers
  • Culture*
  • Early Detection of Cancer / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Vaginal Smears / statistics & numerical data*