Predictors of Pap Smear Screening in Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Elderly Women

Sally Weinrich, Ann L. Coker, Martin Weinrich, G. Paul Eleazer, Frederick L. Greene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Predictors of Pap Smear Screening in Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Elderly Women OBJECTIVE: The objective for this study was to identify predictors for participation in Pap smear screening in a socioeconomically disadvantaged older population. DESIGN AND SAMPLE: A cross‐sectional survey design was used to examine data from 238 southern women 50 years of age and older who were recruited from 24 randomly selected congregate meal sites of the Council on Aging. MEASUREMENTS: The 45‐item questionnaire covered demographics, Pap smear screening history, and colorectal cancer screening history. RESULTS: Among this older, very low income population, women who had never had Pap smears (17.2%) were significantly more likely to have no phone or to be unable to use a phone (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 4.1; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.6–10.6), to have annual incomes of less than $5,800 (aOR = 3.1; 95% CI 1.1–9.0), to be widowed (aOR = 2.8; 95% CI 1.1–7.3), to have no family history of cancer (aOR = 3.3, 95% CI 1.3–10.0), to report having never had a rectal examination (aOR = 5.4, 95% CI 1.8–16.0), and not to have participated in a free fecal occult blood testing program (aOR = 5.0, 95% CI 2.0–10.0). CONCLUSIONS: These data, unique in including very low income (<$10,000) and older women (65 and over), found that income and access to a phone were strongly correlated with cervical cancer screening participation. Women who lacked external incentives for screening (being widowed and not having a family history of cancer) were less likely to obtain screening. This study's finding that “not having a phone” was a strong predictor for nonparticipation in cervical cancer screening has implications for national telephone‐derived estimates of cervical cancer screening. J Am Geriatr Soc 43: 267–270, 1995. 1995 The American Geriatrics Society

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-270
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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