Perception of Cervical Cancer Screening Among Japanese University Students Who Have Never Had a Pap Smear: A Qualitative Study

  • Oshima, Sumiko (Department of Psychology and Communication, School of Humanities, Hokusei Gakuen University) ;
  • Maezawa, Masaji (Hokkaido University)
  • Published : 2013.07.30


This study aimed to explore attitudes towards cervical cancer screening among Japanese university students who had never had a Pap smear. Four focus-group discussions, each with 15 female university students, took place in November and December 2009. Discussions were recorded and transcripts were analyzed to extract attitudes of young women towards cervical cancer screening. The four themes that emerged were: i) a low sense of reality about cervical cancer; ii) a lack of knowledge about both cervical cancer and Pap smears; iii) a lack of motivation to get screened, and iv) a reluctance to visit the gynecologist. Participants who were interested in undergoing screening for cervical cancer cited the influence of conversations with friends and family, a diagnosis of cancer within their family, and relevant information from the media. The results indicate the importance of getting young women more interested in cervical cancer screening and overcoming their tendency to avoid visiting a gynecologist.


Attitude;cervical cancer;female university students;pap smear;qualitative study


Supported by : Japanese Ministry of Education, Science, and Culture


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