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Keywords:

  • breast cancer;
  • cervical cancer;
  • household survey;
  • social support;
  • woman health

ABSTRACT Objective: To examine whether emotional social support influences the use of 3 cancer screening tests in females.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Sample: Data were collected via a household survey of a random sample of 200 Argentinean women.

Measurements: The questionnaire included self-reported data about the cancer screening tests (Papanicolaou [Pap] test for cervical cancer, breast self-examination, and clinical examination for breast cancer), and socioeconomic background information. Social support was measured by the Duke-UNC-11 questionnaire.

Analysis: Logistic models were used to investigate the association between social support and cancer screening tests.

Results: Emotional social support was associated with having participated in Pap screening within 3 years before this study, but a link between social support and self or clinical breast examination was not supported.

Conclusion: Emotional social support may play a role in early cervical cancer detection among Argentinean females, specifically by encouraging performance of the Pap test. The educational practices accomplished by nurses should include actions that involve the family and community; therefore, emphasizing the importance of social ties on health and promoting interactions between target women and existent social groups in the community.