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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


BARROSO, Michelina F.; GOMES, Keila R. O.  and  ANDRADE, Jesusmar Ximenes. Frequency of Pap smear testing in young women with an obstetric history in Teresina, Piauí, Brazil. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2011, vol.29, n.3, pp.162-168. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze the frequency of Pap smear testing in young women with at least one pregnancy in Teresina, capital of the state of Piauí, Brazil. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was undertaken from May to December 2008. A convenience sample of 464 young women was selected, and data were collected using a pre-tested questionnaire. Women giving birth in the first four months of 2006, in six hospitals in Teresina, were included. Inadequate Pap smear frequency was defined as an interval of more than 1 year between tests. RESULTS: Mean age was 20 years. The frequency of Pap smear testing was every 6 months in 180 women (39.0%) and yearly in 160 (34.5%). Fifteen women (3.2%) had never had a Pap smear test. Simple logistic regression showed an increase of 48.0% in the risk of inadequate Pap smear frequency (P = 0.049) in women who did not use any contraceptive method at their first sexual intercourse, and 49.0% (P = 0.044) in those who were not able to choose between a male or female gynecologist when seeking health care services. On multivariate logistic regression, having more than one pregnancy increased the risk of inadequate Pap smear frequency by 71.4% in comparison to having only one pregnancy (P = 0.011). CONCLUSIONS: The fact that many young women had Pap smear testing at intervals shorter than 1 year does not improve cervical cancer screening and may burden the health care system. Multiparity was a risk factor for inadequate Pap smear frequency, an aspect that must be taken into account when providing gynecological care to young women.

Keywords : Pregnancy in adolescence; vaginal smears; uterine cervical neoplasms; Brazil.

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