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J Am Geriatr Soc. 1995 Mar;43(3):267-70.

Predictors of Pap smear screening in socioeconomically disadvantaged elderly women.

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  • 1College of Nursing, University of South Carolina, Columbia 29208.



The objective for this study was to identify predictors for participation in Pap smear screening in a socioeconomically disadvantaged older population.


A cross-sectional survey design was used to examine data from 238 southern women 50 years of age and older who were recruited from 24 randomly selected congregate meal sites of the Council on Aging.


The 45-item questionnaire covered demographics, Pap smear screening history, and colorectal cancer screening history.


Among this older, very low income population, women who had never had Pap smears (17.2%) were significantly more likely to have no phone or to be unable to use a phone (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 4.1; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.6-10.6), to have annual incomes of less than $5,800 (aOR = 3.1; 95% CI 1.1-9.0), to be widowed (aOR = 2.8; 95% CI 1.1-7.3), to have no family history of cancer (aOR = 3.3, 95% CI 1.3-10.0), to report having never had a rectal examination (aOR = 5.4, 95% CI 1.8-16.0), and not to have participated in a free fecal occult blood testing program (aOR = 5.0, 95% CI 2.0-10.0).


These data, unique in including very low income (< $10,000) and older women (65 and over), found that income and access to a phone were strongly correlated with cervical cancer screening participation. Women who lacked external incentives for screening (being widowed and not having a family history of cancer) were less likely to obtain screening. This study's finding that "not having a phone" was a strong predictor for nonparticipation in cervical cancer screening has implications for national telephone-derived estimates of cervical cancer screening.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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