Associations of an abnormal Pap test result with attitudes and beliefs relevant to cervical cancer: a study of rural Appalachian women

Richard A. Crosby, Robin Vanderpool, Cissi Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: To compare women who recall being informed of an abnormal Pap to those not having this experience relative to attitudes and beliefs pertaining to screening for cervical cancer. Methods: Four hundred women were recruited from eight rural Appalachian counties, in 2013 and 2014. Women completed a paper-and-pencil survey after providing written informed consent. Bivariate associations and age-adjusted associations were calculated between the self-reported experience of being told of an abnormal Pap test result and eight attitudes/beliefs relative to the prevention of cervical cancer. Data analyses were performed in 2014. Results: The mean age was 40.2 years (range 30–64 years). Eighteen women chose not to answer the question asking about ever having an abnormal Pap test result, leaving n = 382. Of the 382 women who did answer, 122 (30.6 %) indicated having an abnormal Pap test result and the remaining 260 (65.2 %) indicated never having this experience. With the exception of one item assessing knowledge that HPV is the cause of cervical cancer, between-group differences in attitudes, beliefs, and intent to have a Pap test the next time one is due were not observed. Conclusions: Although we hypothesized that women ever having an abnormal Pap test may have actively sought to learn more about cervical cancer and its prevention, findings suggest that this is not the case. Informing women of an abnormal result could be coupled with a high-intensity counseling designed to improve attitudes and beliefs relative to women’s role in protecting themselves from cervical cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)947-950
Number of pages4
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 1U48DP001932-01 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The findings and conclusions in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the CDC.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.


  • Appalachia
  • Cervical cancer screening
  • Pap testing
  • Rural
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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