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J Community Health. 1999 Apr;24(2):115-30.

Predictors of compliance with recommended cervical cancer screening schedule: a population-based study.

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Missouri Department of Health, Division of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Columbia 65203, USA.



The prevalence of routine cervical cancer screening and compliance with screening schedules are low compared to the Year 2000 objectives. Identifying predictors of routine screening and screening schedule compliance will help achieve these objectives.


We analyzed data from probability samples of 1,609 Missouri women responding to both the 1994 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and the Missouri Enhanced Survey (ES). We generated prevalence odds ratios to identify predictors of non-compliance to cervical cancer screening guidelines. Also, among a sample of women reporting a reason for last Pap test, we estimated the relative odds of a screening v. diagnostic exam.


In the combined probability sample, compliance with screening schedule was likely among women younger than 50 years of age and women who had either a recent mammography or a clinical breast exam. Being African-American, not experiencing a cost barrier when seeking medical care, having at least a high-school education and health coverage were each associated with an increased compliance with a screening schedule in the combined probability sample. Among women in the combined probability sample, whites, those who experienced no cost barrier to seeking medical care, the non-obese, and those who had a recent mammography were each more likely to have had a screening as opposed to a diagnostic exam.


Cancer control and cardiovascular (CVD) prevention programs should consider jointly targeting those at high risk for cervical cancer and CVD because of aging and associated high-risk behavior such as non-compliance with cervical cancer screening, smoking, and obesity. Also, further research is needed to examine whether the increased compliance with cervical cancer screening guidelines among African American women may be in part due to higher occurrence of diagnostic Pap smears.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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