Background: Low rates of Papanicolaou (Pap) screening among sub-Saharan African immigrant (SAI) women in the US contribute to cancer diagnoses at late stages and high mortality rates. This study was conducted to examine if social support, positively associated with preventive health practices, was predictive of Pap screening in a sample of SAI women. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study with SAI women who recently immigrated to the US. Participants completed a survey to assess ever having had Pap screening and social support using the Medical Outcomes Study Social Support Survey. Results: Among the 108 SAI women in our study, Pap screening uptake was 65.7%. Affectionate and positive social support were each associated with Pap screening [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 1.73 (1.05, 2.87) and 1.68 (1.01, 2.78), respectively]. Discussion: These findings suggest that consideration should be given to strengthening certain aspects of social support to increase uptake of Pap screening among SAI women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)823-830
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


  • Pap screening
  • Papanicolaou screening
  • Social support
  • Sub-Saharan African immigrant women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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