Evaluation of a community-based cervical cancer education program on perceptions and knowledge of screening among low-income Hispanic women

Claudia Lozano, University of Texas at El Paso


Cervical cancer affects Hispanic women disproportionately in comparison to their non-Hispanic white counterparts. In 2004, the incidence rate was 12.2 per 100,000 persons among Hispanic women compared to 7.5 per 100,000 among non-Hispanic white women (U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group, 2007). Although this form of cancer is easily diagnosed through recommended screening tests, Hispanic women are often less likely to get screened (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2000).^ Research based on the Health Belief Model (HBM) examining attitudes and beliefs about cervical cancer and screening among Hispanic women has demonstrated that non-compliance with Pap smear screening was attributed to perceived barriers of embarrassment, being less acculturated, the belief that Pap smears are painful, and lack of knowledge about access (Byrd, Peterson, Chavez, & Heckert, 2004; Ingledue, Cottrell, & Bernard, 2004; Leyva, Byrd, & Tarwater, 2006; Thompson, Dempsey, Ross, & Anguiano, 2009). Consequently, identifying interventions to help address this issue is imperative.^ The purpose of this project was to evaluate a community-based education program for Hispanic women from the Cervical Cancer Prevention Project (CCPP). The CCPP was developed through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Social Health Association (ASHA). In 2006, the CCPP educational program was part of a research project among low-income Hispanic women from which secondary data analyses were performed for this study.^ The changes in perceptions were evaluated based on the HBM for participant’s perceived benefits and perceived barriers to Pap smear testing; perceived severity and susceptibility to cervical cancer; and knowledge acquisition about cervical cancer and screening. The study design consisted of pre-test/posttest among an intervention group and a comparison group. Main findings included changes in perceptions of barriers among participants in the intervention group. There was also an improvement in knowledge among those in the intervention group. In conclusion, participant’s perceptions and knowledge regarding cervical cancer and Pap smear screening were improved while addressing culturally appropriate interventions for cervical cancer among Hispanic women. ^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Public Health|Education, Health|Hispanic American Studies

Recommended Citation

Lozano, Claudia, "Evaluation of a community-based cervical cancer education program on perceptions and knowledge of screening among low-income Hispanic women" (2009). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1465258.