Background: Cervical cancer is a preventable disease and persistent infection with the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is recognized as a causal and essential factor in the development of cervical cancer. Routine Papanicolaou smear (Pap) screening can detect cervical abnormalities early in the disease process. Hispanic women in the U.S. have higher cervical cancer incidence rates primarily due to low rates of cancer screening and poor adherence to recommended follow up.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe the beliefs and perceptions of Hispanic women living in the state of Arkansas towards: (a) cervical cancer screening, (b) the causes of cervical cancer including the role of the Human Papilloma virus (HPV) in the development of cervical cancer, and (c) the role of the HPV vaccine in preventing cervical cancer.
Methods: In this qualitative ethnographic study, purposeful and snowball techniques were used to recruit Hispanic women. A written modified questionnaire (Family Planning and Women's Health Questionnaire), verbally administered and one face to face interview were used to gather data. All interviews were conducted in Spanish, audiotaped, transcribed, translated into English and entered into ethnograph. Content analysis and constant comparison were used to analyze data.
Results: A total of 16 women completed the study. All were Spanish speaking, from Mexico, married, unemployed, less than 50 years old, and without medical insurance. The main themes that emerged from the data were (a) social isolation, (b) lack of knowledge, (c) no concept of prevention, (d) unplanned Pap smear experience, and (e) fatalist cancer views. None of the women had heard of the HPV or the HPV vaccine. Over half of the women did not know that Pap smears could detect cervical cancer and most women did not know that they needed a Pap smear after menopause.
Conclusion: Hispanic immigrant women have low levels of HPV awareness and are not knowledgeable about the recommended Pap smear guidelines or the HPV vaccine immunization schedule.
|Advisor:||McSweeney, Jean C.|
|Commitee:||Bryant, Keneshia, Dillaha, Jennifer, Mitchell, Anita, Souder, Elaine|
|School:||University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences|
|School Location:||United States -- Arkansas|
|Source:||DAI-A 75/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Medicine, Health education|
|Keywords:||Cancer knowledge, Cervical cancer, Health promotion, Hisapanic women, Pap smears, Prevention|
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