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Keywords:

  • CBPR;
  • cervical cancer;
  • influencing factors;
  • Pap testing;
  • Vietnamese American;
  • immigrant women

ABSTRACT

Objective

To explore factors potentially influencing Pap testing practices among Vietnamese American immigrant women (VIW, foreign-born) and describe their awareness of cervical cancer screening resources in their community.

Design

Descriptive study guided by the ecological model and community-based participatory research principles.

Setting

Portland, Oregon, metropolitan area.

Participants

Vietnamese American immigrant women (211) who were age 21 and older.

Methods

We used descriptive statistics and logistic regression analyses to analyze a self-administered questionnaire that was pretested and translated using a team approach.

Results

Approximately 74% of VIW who completed the survey reported at least one Pap test, and 69% reported Pap testing history adherent to national guidelines. The factor most strongly associated with Pap testing receipt was suggestion from a friend, followed by longer residency in the United States, lower perceived common barriers, and lower perceived cultural barriers, for example, lack of family support and use of Eastern/Asian medicine. The factor most strongly associated with guideline adherence was having health insurance, followed by a recommendation from a physician or nurse practitioner. Only 11% of VIW knew where to obtain a free or low-cost Pap tests.

Conclusion

Nurses can influence rates of Pap testing among VIW by providing health education through outreach programs targeted at lay health workers and their social networks, identifying at-risk patients such as recently immigrated women, reducing perceived common and cultural barriers to Pap testing, and helping women seek alternative payment options if they lack health insurance. Primary health care providers should be reminded of their essential role in increasing Pap testing adherence.