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Promoting Attendance at Cervical Cancer Screening: Understanding the Relationship with Turkish Womens' Health Beliefs

  • Demirtas, Basak (Nursing Department, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ankara University) ;
  • Acikgoz, Inci (Nursing Department, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ankara University)
  • Published : 2013.01.31

Abstract

Background: The aim of the study was to identify the relationship between 'Health Belief Model Scale for Cervical Cancer and the Pap Smear Test' subscale scores and demographic/gyneco-obstetric characteristics. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted with 256 women. Data were obtained using the 'Demographic and Gyneco-Obstetric Identification Form' and the 'Health Belief Model Scale for Cervical Cancer and the Pap Smear Test. Results: The percentage of women who had heard about the Pap test was 77.7 whereas only 32.4% had actually undergone the test. Some 45.7% of the women stated that they did not know the reason for having a Pap test. Women who had obtained a Pap smear test had statistically significantly fewer perceived barriers than those who had never had (p<0.05). Scores with regard to the subscales including 'Benefits of Pap Smear Tests and Health Motivation', 'Perceived Seriousness of Cervical Cancer', 'Susceptibility to Cervical Cancer' and 'Cervical Cancer Health Motivation' did not differ with demographic/gyneco-obstetric characteristics such as womens' educational level, whether or not young age at first marriage, whether or not having family history of female cancer, and whether or not having had a Pap test (p>0.05). Conclusions: Increasing knowledge about benefits of Pap smear tests, increasing motivation to obtain Pap Smear Test and increasing perceived seriousness of cervical cancer could promote attendance at cervical cancer screening. Different strategies are needed for behavioural change. Implementation of educational programmes by nurses in a busy environment could result in a major clinical change, based on the findings of this study.

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