Objective: Although a variety of intervention methods have been used to promote Pap test screening among ethnic minority women in the US, the effectiveness of such interventions is unclear. We performed a meta-analysis to examine the overall effectiveness of these interventions in increasing Pap test use by ethnic minority women in the US.
Methods: A search of databases (MEDLINE, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, PsycINFO, and Science Citation Index-Expanded) and review articles for articles published between 1984 and April 2009 identified 18 randomized and non-randomized controlled trials. The primary study outcome was the difference in the proportion of Pap tests between the treatment and comparison groups.
Results: The pooled mean weighted effect size (d) for the 18 studies was 0.158 (95% confidence interval [CI]=0.100, 0.215), indicating that the interventions were effective in improving Pap test use among ethnic minority women. Among the intervention types, access enhancement yielded the largest effect size (0.253 [95% CI=0.110, 0.397]), followed by community education (0.167 [95% CI=0.057, 0.278]) and individual counseling or letters (0.132 [95% CI=0.069, 0.195]). Combined intervention effects were significant for studies targeting Asian (0.177 [95% CI=0.098, 0.256]) and African American women (0.146 [95% CI=0.028, 0.265]), but not Hispanic women (0.116 [95% CI=-0.008, 0.240]).
Conclusions: Pap test use among ethnic minority women is most likely to increase when access-enhancing strategies are combined. Further research is needed to determine whether more tightly controlled trials of such interventions might reveal an improved rate of cervical cancer screening in Hispanic women as well.
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.