Investigation of the Role of Training Health Volunteers in Promoting Pap Smear Test Use among Iranian Women Based on the Protection Motivation Theory


Department of Health Education and Health Promotion, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


Background: Cervical cancer is known as one of the most prevalent types of cancers and a major public health problem in developing countries which can be detected by Pap test, prevented, and treated. Despite the effective role of Pap test in decreasing the incidence and mortality due to cervical cancer, it is still one the most common causes of cancer-related deaths among women, especially in developing countries. Thus, this study aimed to examine the effect of educational interventions implemented by health volunteers based on protection motivation theory (PMT) on promoting Pap test use among women. Materials and Methods: This quasi-experimental study was conducted on 60 health volunteers and 420 women. The study participants were divided into an intervention and a control group. Data were collected using a valid self-reported questionnaire including demographic variables and PMT constructs which was completed by both groups before and 2 months after the intervention. Then, the data were entered into the SPSS statistical software, version 19 and were analyzed using Chi-square test, independent T-test, and descriptive statistical methods. Pas statistically significant. Results: The findings of this study showed that the mean scores of PMT constructs (i.e. perceived vulnerability, perceived severity, fear, response-costs, self-efficacy, and intention) increased in the intervention group after the intervention (P<0.001). However, no significant difference was found between the two groups regarding response efficacy after the intervention (P=0.06). The rate of Pap test use also increased by about 62.9% among the study women. Conclusions: This study showed a significant positive relationship between PMT-based training and Pap test use. The results also revealed the successful contribution of health volunteers to training cervical cancer screening. Thus, training interventions based on PMT are suggested to be designed and implemented and health volunteers are recommended to be employed for educational purposes and promoting the community's, especially women's, health.