Document Type : Research Articles
Chronic Disease (Home Care) Research Center, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran.
Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran.
Mother and Child Care Research Center, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran.
Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran.
Objective: Pap smear test is an appropriate screening method for early diagnosis of cervical cancer and reduction of mortality. This study targeted effects of group counseling based on the Health Belief Model on cervical cancer screening practices of Iranian rural women. Method: This quasi-experimental study was conducted on 80 rural women under coverage of the health care centers in rural areas in the city of Kabudrahang, Iran, in 2015. The data collection tool was a researcher-made questionnaire covering demographic information, Health Belief Model (HBM) constructs and screening performance. Data were collected using a multi-stage sampling method. Group counseling was conducted based on the Health Belief Model and the GATHER steps in three sessions for the intervention group. Counseling included an introduction to cervical cancer, disease symptoms, warning signs and prevention approaches. Pap smear testing in both intervention and control groups was evaluated two months after the group counseling. Results: Before the intervention, there was no significant difference between both groups in the HBM constructs and performance. After the intervention, a significant difference was seen in the perceived susceptibility (P<0.001), severity (P=006), benefits (P=012), barriers (P<0.001), and self-efficacy (P=002). Two months after the intervention, 17 patients (42.5%) in the intervention group, and 4 patients (10%) in the control group had undergone a Pap smear test (P<0.001). Conclusion: Design and implementation of counseling programs based on the HBM can modify the beliefs of rural women regarding cervical cancer screening and increase their performance.