• cervical cancer;
  • health promotion;
  • nursing education;
  • pap test

ABSTRACT Objectives: The incidence and mortality rate of cervical cancer in Taiwan are higher than in other developed countries. This study aimed to explore women's responses and actions after receiving their test reports and their practice of health-promoting behaviors.

Design: This study employed a cross-sectional descriptive design.

Sample: A convenient sample of 101 women living in a rural area.

Measurements: Demographic characteristics, semistructured questions and Chinese Adult Health Promotion scale were used in this study.

Results: The mode of the duration of their marriages was 20 years. Nearly 14% were diagnosed as precancerous and underwent further treatment. 24 percent of the women took no action during the 3 months after receiving the results. As many as 96% of the participants were not aware of the 90% 5-year survival rate for localized cervical cancer. From semistructured interviews, 4 behavioral responses and 5 actions were identified. Notably, many women in this study practiced health-promoting behaviors for health responsibility, regular exercise and stress management with low frequency.

Conclusions: These analytical results may prove useful in developing intervention strategies to assist women with positive Papanicolaou test results to choose treatment modalities and adopt healthy behaviors.