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Am J Public Health. 2014 Feb;104(2):319-25. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.301114. Epub 2013 Jun 13.

Influence of hormonal contraceptive use and health beliefs on sexual orientation disparities in Papanicolaou test use.

Author information

1
Brittany M. Charlton is with the Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA. Heather L. Corliss and S. Bryn Austin are with the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. Stacey A. Missmer, is with Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. A. Lindsay Frazier is with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA. Margaret Rosario is with the City University of New York, City College and Graduate Center, New York, NY. Jessica A. Kahn is with the Division of Adolescent Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Reproductive health screenings are a necessary part of quality health care. However, sexual minorities underutilize Papanicolaou (Pap) tests more than heterosexuals do, and the reasons are not known. Our objective was to examine if less hormonal contraceptive use or less positive health beliefs about Pap tests explain sexual orientation disparities in Pap test intention and utilization.

METHODS:

We used multivariable regression with prospective data gathered from 3821 females aged 18 to 25 years in the Growing Up Today Study (GUTS).

RESULTS:

Among lesbians, less hormonal contraceptive use explained 8.6% of the disparities in Pap test intention and 36.1% of the disparities in Pap test utilization. Less positive health beliefs associated with Pap testing explained 19.1% of the disparities in Pap test intention. Together, less hormonal contraceptive use and less positive health beliefs explained 29.3% of the disparities in Pap test intention and 42.2% of the disparities in Pap test utilization.

CONCLUSIONS:

Hormonal contraceptive use and health beliefs, to a lesser extent, help to explain sexual orientation disparities in intention and receipt of a Pap test, especially among lesbians.

PMID:
23763393
PMCID:
PMC3935712
DOI:
10.2105/AJPH.2012.301114
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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