Promoting Attendance at Cervical Cancer Screening: Understanding the Relationship with Turkish Womens’ Health Beliefs


Background: The aim of the study was to identify the relationship between ‘Health Belief Model Scale forCervical Cancer and the Pap Smear Test’ subscale scores and demographic/gyneco-obstetric characteristics.Materials and
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted with 256 women. Data were obtained usingthe ‘Demographic and Gyneco-Obstetric Identification Form’ and the ‘Health Belief Model Scale for CervicalCancer and the Pap Smear Test.
Results: The percentage of women who had heard about the Pap test was 77.7whereas only 32.4% had actually undergone the test. Some 45.7% of the women stated that they did not knowthe reason for having a Pap test. Women who had obtained a Pap smear test had statistically significantly fewerperceived barriers than those who had never had (p<0.05). Scores with regard to the subscales including ‘Benefitsof Pap Smear Tests and Health Motivation’, ‘Perceived Seriousness of Cervical Cancer’, ‘Susceptibility to CervicalCancer’ and ‘Cervical Cancer Health Motivation’ did not differ with demographic/gyneco-obstetric characteristicssuch as womens’ educational level, whether or not young age at first marriage, whether or not having familyhistory of female cancer, and whether or not having had a Pap test (p>0.05).
Conclusions: Increasing knowledgeabout benefits of Pap smear tests, increasing motivation to obtain Pap Smear Test and increasing perceivedseriousness of cervical cancer could promote attendance at cervical cancer screening. Different strategies areneeded for behavioural change. Implementation of educational programmes by nurses in a busy environmentcould result in a major clinical change, based on the findings of this study.