Perceived Barriers to Pap Screening Influence Adherence to Screening Recommendations Among Black Women

Adebola Adegboyega, Jung Hee Kang, Adaeze Aroh, Lovoria B. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the Health Belief Model (HBM) constructs associated with Pap screening adherence among a sample of African American and sub-Saharan African immigrant women in the United States. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted via an online survey. Participants were recruited from central Kentucky counties. Ninety-one eligible women participated (mean age 38 ± 12 years), 49.5% identified as African American. Twenty-nine percent indicated never being screened or not being up-to-date. Self-reported demographic data, HBM constructs for Pap screening, and Pap screening history were collected. Bivariate and logistic regressions were performed. Results: There was a significant negative association between perceived barriers and being up-to-date. For every one-point increase in perceived barriers, the odds of being up-to-date decreased by 81%, (p = 0.004; CI: 0.06-0.60), findings from further evaluation of the barrier construct showed that barriers significantly associated with screening include items related to lack of knowledge about where to get a Pap screening, lack of time to attend the screening, screening-associated shame and pain, negligence, and age. There were no other significant HBM constructs associated with up-to-date Pap screening status. There was no difference in perceived barriers between African American and sub-Saharan African women. Conclusions: Despite public health efforts to decrease screening barriers, a perception of barriers exists among Black women. Continued efforts to address screening barriers as well as the perception of barriers are warranted among Black women.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Women's Health
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright 2024, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.


  • barriers to screening
  • cervical cancer
  • health belief model
  • health care
  • pap screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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