Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 2002


Published in Great Plains Research 12:1 (Spring 2002): 51-74. Copyright © 2002 Center for Great Plains Studies.


High mortality from invasive cervical cancer among Mexican-descent Latinas living in the Great Plains could be substantially reduced if they would utilize screening procedures regularly. To understand possible influential factors on their screening behaviors, we investigated which variables differentiate women age 50 and older who are most compliant with cervical cancer screening guidelines from those who are less compliant. Of 184 women surveyed, 100 were compliant with a yearly Pap smear while 84 were not compliant. Discriminant function analysis revealed that, apart from the significance of sociodemographic factors and acculturation, women who were most compliant significantly received more health-care provider interventions, complied with breast cancer screening, and were more motivated to engage in general health behaviors. Findings suggest that health-care providers can help women comply successfully with cervical cancer screening guidelines by educating and referring them for Pap testing when they provide other health care services to these women.