Accuracy of women's self-report of their last Pap smear

Am J Public Health. 1989 Aug;79(8):1036-7. doi: 10.2105/ajph.79.8.1036.


We compared interview data and physician records on when women last had a Pap smear in a sample of 98 rural Black women. We found 20 per cent of women could not accurately report on whether a Pap smear had been done within three years (sensitivity = 0.95, specificity = 0.47). Source of gynecological care and perceived barriers to obtaining a Pap smear but not education were associated with inaccurate reports. Self-report may be a misleading measure of Pap smear screening in comparable groups of women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Americans
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Medical Records
  • Mental Recall
  • Middle Aged
  • North Carolina
  • Papanicolaou Test*
  • Physical Examination
  • Rural Health
  • Time Factors
  • Vaginal Smears*