Factors Predicting Nurse Intent and Status Regarding Pap Smear Examination in Taiwan: a Cross-sectional Survey


Background: Nurses are the most visible, frontline personnel providing health education to patients. In particular, nurse experience with Pap examinations have the potential to influence women’s attitudes toward screening for cervical cancer. However, nurses in Taiwan have lower rates of Pap testing than the general population. Understanding the factors predicting nurse intent to have a Pap exam and Pap exam status would inform interventions and policies to increase their Pap exam uptake. Therefore, the present study was undertaken. Materials and
Methods: Data were collected by questionnaire from a convenient sample of 504 nurses at a regional hospital in central Taiwan between August and October 2011 and analyzed by descriptive statistics, confirmatory factor analysis, and logistic regression.
Results: Nurse intention to have a Pap exam was predicted by younger age, less negative attitudes toward Pap exams, and greater influence of others recommendations. However, nurses were more likely to actually have had a Pap exam if they were older, married, had sexual experience, and had a high intention to have a Pap exam.
Conclusions: Nurses who are younger than 34 years old, unmarried, sexually inexperienced, and with low intention to have a Pap exam should be targeted with interventions to educate them not only about the importance of Pap exams in detecting cervical cancer, but also about strategies to decrease pain and embarrassment during exams. Nurses with less negative attitudes and experiences related to Pap exams would serve as role models to persuade women to have Pap exams, thus increasing the uptake rate of Pap exams in Taiwan.