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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


AGUILAR-PEREZ, José A et al. Cervical cancer screening: knowledge of Pap smear benefits and utilization in Mexico. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2003, vol.37, n.1, pp.100-106. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: To identify and evaluate the predisposing factors regarding the utilization of the Pap smears in the population seen in the Cervical Cancer Screening Program in Mexico METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted from January 1997 through December 1998 in Mexico city. A questionnaire was applied to a total of 2,107 women of reproductive age who attended a family planning program and data was collected regarding the following topics: social-demographics, reproductive risk factors associated with cervical cancer, sexual behavior and partner history, birth control, knowledge about Pap smear' benefits, and its utilization. Statistic analysis was conducted using Student´s test and non-conditional multiple logistic regression model for determining significance. RESULTS: The predisposing factors were: knowledge about Pap smear's benefits (OR=6.00, CI 95% 4.70-7.67), history of using at least two birth control methods (OR=2.38, CI 95% 1.75-3.24), previous history of vaginal infection (OR=2.18, CI 95% 1.73-2.75), sexual partner's approval of gynecological examinations (OR=1.56, CI 95% 1.07-2.29). CONCLUSIONS: Educational programs on cancer prevention in this population should include the benefits of screening tests. Pap smears for Mexican women of reproductive age are mostly offered opportunely. The previous use of health services is a determinant factor for the utilization of the Cervical Cancer Screening Program. These results show the need to strengthen health promotion programs to women at high risk of cervical cancer and their sexual partners.

Keywords : Cervix neoplasms; Vaginal smears; Women's health; Cross-sectional studies; Health plans and programmes; Socioeconomic factors; Risk factors; Reproductive medicine; Screening; Questionnaires.

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