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J Immigr Minor Health. 2007 Apr;9(2):109-14.

Knowledge about cervical cancer risk factors, traditional health beliefs, and Pap testing among Vietnamese American women.

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  • 1Division of Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, PO Box 19024, M3-B232, Seattle, WA 98109-1024, USA.



The objective of this paper was to examine knowledge about cervical cancer risk factors and traditional health beliefs in relation to Papanicolaou (Pap) testing among Vietnamese women.


A population-based survey was conducted in Seattle (n<352, response rate=82%) during 2002.


The proportions of women who knew that older age, not getting regular Pap tests, and Vietnamese ethnicity are associated with an elevated cervical cancer risk were only 53%, 62%, and 23%, respectively. The majority (87%) incorrectly believed poor women's hygiene is a risk factor for cervical cancer. Approximately two-thirds (68%) of the women had received a Pap test during the preceding three years. Knowing that lack of Pap testing increases the risk of cervical cancer was strongly associated (p<0.001) with recent Pap smear receipt.


Our results confirm that Vietnamese women have lower levels of cervical cancer screening than non-Latina white women. Intervention programs addressing Pap testing in Vietnamese communities should recognize women's traditional beliefs while encouraging them to adopt biomedical preventive measures into their daily lives.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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