To reduce the high incidence of cervical cancer among Latinas in the United States it is important to understand factors that predict screening behavior. The aim of this study was to test the utility of theory of planned behavior in predicting cervical cancer screening among a group of Latinas. A sample of Latinas (N = 614) completed a baseline survey about Pap test attitudes subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, and intention to be screened for cervical cancer. At 6 months postbaseline, cervical cancer screening behavior was assessed. Structural equation modeling was used to test the theory. Model fit statistics indicated good model fit: χ(2)(48) = 54.32, p = .246; comparative fit index = .992; root mean square error of approximation = .015; weighted root mean square residual = .687. Subjective norms (p = .005) and perceived behavioral control (p < .0001) were positively associated with intention to be screened for cervical cancer, and the intention to be screened predicted actual cervical cancer screening (p < .0001). The proportion of variance (R2) in intention accounted for by the predictors was .276 and the R2 in cervical cancer screening accounted for was .130. This study provides support for the use of the theory of planned behavior in predicting cervical cancer screening among Latinas. This knowledge can be used to inform the development of a theory of planned behavior-based intervention to increase cervical cancer screening among Latinas and reduce the high incidence of cervical cancer in this group of women.
Keywords: Latinas; cervical cancer screening; prevention; theory of planned behavior; women’s reproductive health.
© 2015 Society for Public Health Education.