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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Cervical cancer screening among Thai women in Northern California.

  • Author(s): Tsui, Jennifer
  • Tanjasiri, Sora Park
  • et al.

OBJECTIVES: Cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer for Thai women in Thailand, but little is known about the cancer screening practices of Thai immigrants in the United States. This study explores factors that influence cervical cancer screening behavior among Thai women in California. METHODS: In 2003, face-to-face interviews were conducted in Northern California among Thai women age > or = 18 years. Surveys collected information on use and adherence to Pap tests, demographic characteristics, access to healthcare variables, enabling factors, and knowledge of and attitude toward cervical cancer and screening. RESULTS: Among the 322 women included in the study, 74% were ever screened and 61% were screened within the last 3 years (adherent) for cervical cancer. Having a doctor's recommendation was significantly associated with ever having and recently having a Pap test. Insurance status, language most used, and selected knowledge and enabling variables were also predictors of Pap screening. CONCLUSIONS: The Pap testing rates for Thai women in our sample were lower than national guidelines. Interventions should be targeted toward improving access to screening (especially for first-time screeners), enhancing culturally appropriate patient-physician interactions to promote screening, deemphasizing sexual activity, and increasing knowledge about cervical cancer causes for Thai women in the United States.

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