Relationships between Self-Efficacy and Pap Smear Screening in Iranian Women


Deputy of Health, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran E-mail:


Cervical cancer is the fourth common cancer among women worldwide. Pap smear screening has resulted in deceasing incidence of cervical cancer in developed countries but low uptake of Pap smear screening among women in developing countries is still a public health challenge. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to assess the relationship between self-efficacy and timely uptake of Pap smear among Iranian women. A total of 580 married women referred to primary health care centers covered administratively by Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Tehran were administered a questionnaire by trained staff. Data were analyzed with SPSS (version 16) software, using univariate and multivariate logistic regression. The mean age for participants was 33.1±8.8 years. There was a significant association between self-efficacy and Pap smear screening (P<0.01). There was also a positive correlation between duration of marriage and husband’s education with Pap smear uptake (P<0.01). In univariate analysis, there was a significant association between Pap smear uptake and level of self-efficacy (OR = 15.3 for intermediate and OR=7.4 for good level), duration of marriage (OR = 5.7 for 5-14 years and OR=10.4 for more than 15), age (OR =2.7 for 27-34 years and OR=7.4 for more than 35 years) and husband education level (OR=2.3 for more than 12 years of education). In multivariate analysis, significant associations persisted between Pap smear uptake and self-efficacy (OR = 23.8; 95% CI: 8.7, 65.5), duration of marriage (OR = 5.9; 95% CI: 2.8, 12.2), age (OR = 3.9; 95% CI: 1.2, 12.9) and husband’s education (OR = 2.5; 95% CI: 2.0, 10.3). Efforts are needed to increase women’s knowledge about cervical cancer and improve their self-efficacy and perceptions of the Pap smear screening in order to reduce cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates.