Persistent Disparities in Cervical Cancer Screening Uptake: Knowledge and Sociodemographic Determinants of Papanicolaou and Human Papillomavirus Testing Among Women in the United States

Nicole L. Johnson, Katharine J. Head, Susanna Foxworthy Scott, Gregory D. Zimet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives: Cervical cancer is the second-most common type of cancer among women aged 15-44, and racial, ethnic, and economic disparities exist in survival rates despite widely available screening tests and early treatment options. The objective of this study was to describe the association among knowledge, sociodemographic characteristics, and cervical cancer screening, with the goal of developing interventions to prevent cervical cancer in populations at risk of the disease. Methods: In 2017, we conducted a nationwide survey of women in the United States aged ≥18 who had ever received a Papanicolaou (Pap) test (N = 630). We conducted t tests and one-way analysis of variance to determine sociodemographic differences (age, education, race, ethnicity, income, type of health insurance) in knowledge about cervical cancer screening (Pap test and human papillomavirus [HPV] test). We used logistic regressions to define significant determinants of cervical cancer screening behaviors in the previous 5 years. Results: Of 629 respondents, 407 (64.7%) had an annual household income <$30 000, and 322 of 536 (60.1%) respondents had government-provided health insurance. Of 630 women who had ever had a Pap test, 425 (67.5%) had an HPV test. Hispanic and non-Hispanic white women were more likely than Hispanic and non-Hispanic black women (odds ratio [OR] = 2.49; 95% CI, 1.12-4.54; P =.02) and women with government-provided health insurance (OR = 1.91; 95% CI, 1.08-3.37; P =.03) were more likely than women with private health insurance to have received a Pap test in the previous 5 years. Knowledge of HPV was a significant predictor of having received an HPV test in the previous 5 years (OR = 1.37; 95% CI, 1.22-1.54; P <.001). Conclusion: Disparities in cervical cancer screening among sociodemographic groups of women suggest the need for targeted interventions to improve knowledge about Pap and HPV tests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)483-491
Number of pages9
JournalPublic Health Reports
Volume135
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

Keywords

  • cervical cancer screening
  • high-risk populations
  • HPV knowledge
  • human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Pap test knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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