Differences in cervical cancer screening knowledge, practices, and beliefs: An examination of survey responses

Monica L. Kasting, Shannon Wilson, Terrell W. Zollinger, Brian Dixon, Nathan Stupiansky, Gregory Zimet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Among the identified barriers to HPV vaccination is the concern that women may compensate for their reduced susceptibility to cervical cancers by reducing cervical cancer screening. This exploratory study examined the relationship between cervical cancer screening rates and HPV vaccination. We conducted a cross-sectional survey using a convenience sample of women aged 21–35 attending a local minority health fair in July 2015. Data were analyzed in 2015–2016. Outcomes assessed were: receiving a Pap test within the last three years, awareness and comfort with current Pap test recommendations, and knowledge regarding the purpose of a Pap test. A total of 291 women were included in the analyses. Mean age was 28.5 years and 62% were non-Hispanic black. 84% had received a Pap test in the last three years and 33% had received at least one HPV vaccine. Logistic regression results showed that women who had been vaccinated did not have lower odds of having a Pap test in the past three years (OR = 1.32; 95% CI = 0.66–2.65). In an adjusted regression model controlling for age and race, vaccinated women were significantly more likely to have had a Pap test (AOR = 3.06; 95% CI = 1.37–6.83). Yet only 26% of women knew the purpose of a Pap test and the proportion who answered correctly was higher among non-Hispanic white women. Women who have been vaccinated for HPV are more likely to have been screened for cervical cancer. These results suggest areas for more robust studies examining pro-health attitudes, behaviors, and communication regarding vaccination and preventive screening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-174
Number of pages6
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Health behaviors
  • Health disparities
  • Papanicolaou test
  • Papillomavirus vaccines
  • Risk compensation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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