Assessment of Preventive Behavior for Cervical Cancer with the Health Belief Model

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Student Research Committee, Fasa University of Medical Sciences, Fasa, Iran.

2 Department of Community Medicine, Fasa University of Medical Sciences, Fasa, Iran.

3 Noncommunicable Diseases Research Center, Fasa University of Medical Sciences, Fasa, Iran.


Introduction: Cervical cancer is a leading cause of death in developing countries. However, taking regular Pap smears
screening, one of the most effective screening tests, can reduce chance of cervical cancer remarkably. The first step in
health education is choosing the right model, one of the best known being the Health Belief Model (HBM). Here, we
evaluated different HBM factors with regard to cervical cancer preventive behavior in Fasa, Iran. Materials and methods:
This cross-sectional study included 200 married women between the ages of 17 and 64 in Fasa during 2013. Participants
were selected through stratified sampling from urban health centers. The questionnaire of the HBM included four sections
and was filled out by interview. Data analysis was with SPSS 21, ANOVA and t-tests and Internal correlations between
components of model were analyzed in terms of the Spearman Pearson correlation coefficient. Results: The mean age of
the participants was 35.6±9.89 years. Some 52% had undergone a Pap test. The percentage values for participants’
knowledge and perceived susceptibility were 49.5% and 46%, respectively, considered as moderate. Perceived severity
and benefits were good at 56.5% and 73%, respectively, while perceived barriers was moderate (46.5%). Also, 57.1%
demonstrated a good self-efficacy and 61% good behavior. Discussion: We found that the most predictable factors for
knowledge and behavior were age, income level, perceived benefits, perceived severity and self-efficacy according to
the HBM. These factors should be taken into account for achieving acceptable preventive behaviors in health programs.


Main Subjects