Title

Effects of social support, regular physician and health-related attitudes on cervical cancer screening in an Asian population

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

3-2000

Abstract

Objective: Out primary objective was to examine sociodemographic and attitudinal factors that affect uptake of the Pap smear in a multi-ethnic Asian population.Methods: We conducted a prevalence survey among women aged 50-64 years living in Singapore and ascertained by means of an in-person questionnaire interview their Pap screening history, demographic characteristics, informal social support and attitudes towards early detection.Results: We found that, after adjusting for demographic variables known to be predictors of Pap screening, women who reported ever having a Pap smear were more likely to have close friends with whom they could discuss health (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 2.1, 95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.2-3.6), and have a regular physician (adjusted OR 2.3 (1.3-4.1)). Based on responses to four indices measuring health attitudes, they were significantly less likely to express a fatalistic viewpoint towards health and illness (adjusted OR for highest vs. lowest tertile 0.3 (95% CI 0.1-0.7)), and more likely to believe that early detection could improve the outcome (adjusted OR 3.3 (95% CI 1.4-7.8)). The nature of the test itself was a significant barrier to having a Pap smear, but only among women with fewer years of education.Conclusions: Our results suggest that, within this Asian population, a multi-pronged approach is required to reach unscreened women. The role of physicians and close friends should be emphasized, and health messages should be formulated to address specific, relevant attitudinal barriers to Pap screening.

Keywords

Cancer screening, Screening tests, Cervical cancer, Physicians, Asians, Womens health, Age groups, Fate, Demography, Population studies

Discipline

Asian Studies | Demography, Population, and Ecology

Research Areas

Sociology

Publication

Cancer Causes and Control

Volume

11

Issue

3

First Page

223

Last Page

230

ISSN

0957-5243

Identifier

10.1023/A:1008954606992

Publisher

Springer Verlag (Germany)

Additional URL

https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1008954606992

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