Adherence to Cervical Cancer Screening Guidelines Among Latina Immigrant Women in Coastal South Carolina

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Background: The Hispanic population in South Carolina grew by 148%between 2000 and 2010 and is currently around 5%of the state population. The purpose of this pilot study was to examine the association between utilization of cervical cancer screening by foreign-born Latina women with acculturation, self-efficacy for cervical cancer screening, and barriers to healthcare.

Methods: Latina immigrant women were recruited in person to complete the survey at multiple community sites. Women received a Spanish-language informational brochure with contact information of screening clinics and cervical cancer education. This research presents preliminary data from a sample of 120 women. The one-way ANOVA test was used to examine associations between cervical cancer screening interval (<1 year, 1–3 years, >3 years, or never) and three validated scales.

Results: The study participants were primarily from Mexico (71%), but some were from Central and South America. The women had been living in the USA for an average of 14 years (SD= 7.5). For the acculturation scale, lower acculturated women were less likely to have been screened in the last 3 years (p=0.05). Women scoring higher on the cervical cancer self-efficacy scale (α = 0.88) were more likely to have been screened within the last year or 1–3 years (p = 0.04). Women scoring higher on the barriers scale (α = 0.89) were less likely to have been screened within the last 3 years, although this association was marginally non-significant (p = 0.06).

Discussion: Previous studies have demonstrated a link between acculturation, self-efficacy, and barriers to cervical cancer screening to Pap test receipt. This research adds to that literature with a survey of immigrant Latina women. Our results indicate barriers to screening for some women in this immigrant community still exist. More cervical cancer screening information dissemination work is needed because of language barriers and lack of access to locally relevant health information.


American Association for Cancer Research International Cancer Education Conference (AACR-ICEC)


Bethesda, MD