Vietnamese American women represent one of the ethnic subgroups at great risk for cervical cancer in the United States. The underutilization of cervical cancer screening and the vulnerability of Vietnamese American women to cervical cancer may be compounded by their health beliefs.
The objective of this study was to explore the associations between factors of the Health Belief Model (HBM) and cervical cancer screening among Vietnamese American women.
Vietnamese American women (n=1,450) were enrolled into the randomized controlled trial (RCT) study who were recruited from 30 Vietnamese community-based organizations located in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Participants completed baseline assessments of demographic and acculturation variables, health care access factors, and constructs of the HBM, as well as health behaviors in either English or Vietnamese.
The rate of those who had ever undergone cervical cancer screening was 53% (769/1450) among the participants. After adjusting for sociodemographic variables, the significant associated factors from HBM included: believing themselves at risk and more likely than average women to get cervical cancer; believing that cervical cancer changes life; believing a Pap test is important for staying healthy, not understanding what is done during a Pap test, being scared to know having cervical cancer; taking a Pap test is embarrassing; not being available by doctors at convenient times; having too much time for a test; believing no need for a Pap test when feeling well; and being confident in getting a test.
Understanding how health beliefs may be associated with cervical cancer screening among underserved Vietnamese American women is essential for identifying the subgroup of women who are most at risk for cervical cancer and would benefit from intervention programs to increase screening rates.
Recent US data indicate that women of Vietnamese descent have higher cervical cancer incidence rates than women of any other race/ethnicity, and lower levels of Pap testing than white, black, and Latina women. Our objective was to provide information about Pap testing barriers and facilitators that could be used to develop cervical cancer control intervention programs for Vietnamese American women.
We conducted a cross-sectional, community-based survey of Vietnamese immigrants. Our study was conducted in metropolitan Seattle, Washington. A total of 1,532 Vietnamese American women participated in the study. Demographic, health care, and knowledge/belief items associated with previous cervical cancer screening participation (ever screened and screened according to interval screening guidelines) were examined.
Eighty-one percent of the respondents had been screened for cervical cancer in the previous three years. Recent Pap testing was strongly associated (p<0.001) with having a regular doctor, having a physical in the last year, previous physician recommendation for testing, and having asked a physician for testing. Women whose regular doctor was a Vietnamese man were no more likely to have received a recent Pap smear than those with no regular doctor.
Our findings indicate that cervical cancer screening disparities between Vietnamese and other racial/ethnic groups are decreasing. Efforts to further increase Pap smear receipt in Vietnamese American communities should enable women without a source of health care to find a regular provider. Additionally, intervention programs should improve patient-provider communication by encouraging health care providers (especially male Vietnamese physicians serving women living in ethnic enclaves) to recommend Pap testing, as well as by empowering Vietnamese women to specifically ask their physicians for Pap testing.
Cervical cancer; Immigrants; Pap testing; Vietnamese
Compared to other racial/ethnic groups, Korean, Filipino, and Vietnamese American women experience high incidence rates of cervical cancer but low rates of cervical cancer screenings. This study examines the behaviors and attitudes towards screening in young Korean, Filipino, and Vietnamese American women (n=304) in the San Francisco Bay Area. Results indicated Vietnamese American (OR=2.51) and Filipino American (OR=2.31) women had greater odds of ever having a Pap test than Korean American women. Those older (OR=1.55), born in the USA (OR=2.64), and those comfortable with the test (OR=3.41) also had greater odds of ever having a Pap test. Correct knowledge of cervical cancer and the human papillomavirus did not significantly affect the odds of having a Pap test. Interventions to increase Pap testing in these populations should focus on increasing levels of comfort and should target those younger and foreign born.
Cervical cancer screening; Pap testing; Young Asian American women; Korean; Vietnamese; Filipino; San Francisco
Census data show that the US Vietnamese population now exceeds 1,250,000. Cervical cancer among Vietnamese American women has been identified as an important health disparity. Available data indicate the cervical cancer disparity may be due to low Pap testing rates rather than variations in HPV infection rates and/or types. The cervical cancer incidence rates among Vietnamese and non-Latina white women in California during 2000–2002 were 14.0 and 7.3 per 100,000, respectively. Only 70% of Vietnamese women who participated in the 2003 California Health Interview Survey reported a recent Pap smear, compared to 84% of non-Latina white women. Higher levels of cervical cancer screening participation among Vietnamese women are strongly associated with current/previous marriage, having a usual source of care/doctor, and previous physician recommendation. Vietnamese language media campaigns and lay health worker intervention programs have been effective in increasing Pap smear use in Vietnamese American communities. Cervical cancer control programs for Vietnamese women should address knowledge deficits; enable women who are without a usual source of care to find a primary care doctor; and improve patient-provider communication by encouraging health care providers to recommend Pap testing, as well as by empowering women to ask for testing.
Cervical cancer; Pap testing; Vietnamese Americans
Cervical cancer occurs more frequently among Vietnamese Americans than women of any other race/ethnicity. In addition, previous studies in California have documented low Papanicolaou (Pap) testing rates in Vietnamese communities. This study focused on health care system factors and physician characteristics associated with recent cervical cancer screening among Vietnamese women. A population-based survey was conducted in Seattle during 2002. In-person interviews were conducted by bilingual, bicultural female survey workers. The survey response rate was 82% and 518 women were included in the analysis. Seventy-four percent of the respondents reported having been screened for cervical cancer on at least one occasion, and 64% reported a Pap smear within the previous 2 years. Women with a regular doctor were more likely to have been recently screened than those without a regular doctor (OR = 2.33, 95% CI = 1.45–3.74). Among those with a regular doctor, having a male physician, receiving care at a private doctor’s office (rather than a community, hospital, or multi-specialty clinic), and concern about the cost of health care were independently associated with lower screening rates. Physician ethnicity was not associated with recent Pap smear receipt. The findings support targeted interventions for Vietnamese women without a regular physician and private doctors’ offices that serve Vietnamese Americans. The availability of low cost screening services should be publicized in Vietnamese communities.
cervical cancer; immigrants; Pap testing; Vietnamese
Compared with white women, Vietnamese women in the United States have a higher rate of cervical cancer and lower Papanicolau (Pap) test utilization. We evaluated factors associated with awareness of the Pap test, intention to obtain it, and its receipt in Vietnamese-American women.
In 2000, we conducted a telephone survey of Vietnamese-American women aged ≥18 years living in Santa Clara County, California, and Harris County, Texas. We collected data on sociodemographics, healthcare system access and attitudes, as well as Pap test awareness, attitudes, intentions, and practices.
Of 1566 subjects, 74% had heard of the Pap test, and 76% had had at least one. Only 42% of those who never had a Pap test had considered obtaining one. There were no significant differences between the two sites. Women aged ≥65 had the lowest rates for all three outcomes. For all women, younger age, being married, having requested a Pap test, physician recommendation, and preferring a female standby if the doctor was male were associated with Pap test intention. Being married, higher level of education, having a female doctor, having a respectful doctor, having requested the test, and physician recommendation were associated with Pap test receipt.
Vietnamese-American women have low rates of Pap test awareness, intention, and receipt. The patient–doctor interaction is an important determinant. Efforts to increase Pap test utilization in this population need to be directed at encouraging physicians to offer the Pap test and empowering women to ask for the test.
cervix neoplasms; ethnology; female; health behavior; health services accessibility; mass screening; patient acceptance of health care; primary prevention; Vietnam
Cervical cancer is the most incident cancer and the leading cause of cancer mortality in women in Ghana. Currently little is known about Ghanaian women's knowledge and beliefs about cervical cancer screening, yet this information is essential to the success of cervical cancer screening programs. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to describe the knowledge and beliefs of women university college students in Ghana.
A cross sectional survey among college women in a university in Ghana elicited information about sociodemographics, knowledge and beliefs and acceptability of cervical cancer screening, screening history, and sexual history. Bivariate analyses were conducted to identify factors associated with screening.
140 females were recruited; the age range was 20-35 years. The prior pap screening rate was 12.0%; Women were unaware of local screening initiatives and only 7.9% were aware of the link between HPV and cervical cancer. The most prevalent barriers were lack of awareness that the purpose of pap screening is to diagnose cancer, concerns about what others may think, and lack of information about how to obtain screening services. Although women perceived the benefits of screening, only about half perceived themselves to be at risk. Women received few screening cues. Three barriers were negatively associated with screening in bivariate analyses: lack of belief that cervical screening diagnoses cancer, belief that pap test is painful and belief that the test will take away virginity.
New screening programs in Ghana should address these barriers and increase screening cues to the public.
cervical cancer screening; health beliefs; Ghanaian women
To conduct a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the cost effectiveness of a lay health worker-administered cervical cancer screening intervention for Vietnamese-American women.
The study group included 234 Vietnamese women in the Seattle, Washington area who had not received a Pap test in the last three years. Experimental group participants received a lay health worker home visit. The travel distance and time spent at each visit were recorded. Our trial end-point was Pap smear receipt within six months of randomization. Pap testing completion was ascertained through medical record reviews.
For all Vietnamese women, regardless of their prior history of screening, the cost per intervention was $104.0 (95% CI: $89.6–$118.4). The change in quality-adjusted life days per intervention was 1.26 (95% CI: −5.43–7.96), resulting in an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of $30,015 per quality-adjusted life year. The probability that the ICER exceeds $100,000 is 9.1%.
The degree of cost effectiveness of such interventions is sensitive to the assumed duration of behavioral change and the participants’ prior history of screening.
Cervical cancer; screening; cost effectiveness; lay health worker
HPV DNA testing has been shown to be an effective approach to cervical cancer screening, and self-collection sampling for HPV testing could be a potential alternative to Pap test, provided that women who tested positive by any method get timely follow-up and care. This feasibility study examined acceptability and usability of self-collected sampling for HPV testing among African American (AA) women in the Mississippi Delta in order to inform the development of interventions to promote cervical cancer screening in this population.
The study consisted of two phases. Phase I consisted of eight focus groups (N=87) with AA women to explore knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about cervical cancer and HPV infection as well as acceptability of self-collected sampling for HPV testing. In Phase II, we examined the usability of this technology through one discussion group (N=9). The Health Belief Model guided data collection and analysis.
Although participants perceived themselves as susceptible to cervical cancer and acknowledged its severity, there was a lack of knowledge of the link between HPV and cervical cancer, and they expressed a number of misconceptions. The most frequent barriers to screening included embarrassment, discomfort, and fear of the results. Women in both phases were receptive to self-collection sampling for HPV testing. All participants in the usability phase expressed that self-collection was easy and they did not experience any difficulties.
Self-collection for HPV testing is an acceptable and feasible method among AA women in the Mississippi Delta to complement current cytology cervical cancer screening programs.
gynecological cancer; sexually transmitted infections; health disparities
The purpose of this community-based study was to develop a structural equation model for factors contributing to cervical cancer screening among Chinese American women.
A cross-sectional design included a sample of 573 Chinese American women aged 18 years and older. The initial step involved use of confirmatory factor analysis, that included the following variables: access to and satisfaction with health care, and enabling and predisposing cultural and health beliefs. Structural equation model analyses were conducted on factors related to cervical cancer screening.
Age, marital status, employment, household income, and having health insurance, but not educational level, were significantly related to cervical screening status. Predisposing and enabling factors were positively associated with cervical cancer screening. The cultural factor was significantly related to the enabling factor or the satisfaction with health care factor.
This model highlights the significance of sociocultural factors in relation to cervical cancer screening. These factors were significant, with cultural, predisposing, enabling, and health belief factors and access to and satisfaction with health care reinforcing the need to assist Chinese American women with poor English fluency in translation and awareness of the importance of cervical cancer screening. Community organizations may play a role in assisting Chinese American women, which could enhance cervical cancer screening rates.
Papanicolaou test; cervical cancer screening; Chinese women
Cervical cancer is an important cause of cancer-related deaths in women in developing countries. In Korea, cervical cancer is the third leading cancer among females and is fifth highest in mortality. The persistent oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) infections are the greatest risk of developing cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and invasive cancer. The overall prevalence of HPV was 10.4% in Korea and strong risk factors for HPV infection included a young age at sexual debut. The National Cancer Screening Program, which includes cervical cancer screening, has the following principles: the main screening tool is the Papanicolaou test conducted by gynecologists, which targets all women age 30 and over, and which is done every 2 years. HPV DNA tests have not yet been permitted as a screening test for cervical cancer in Korea; however, these are conducted along with a Pap test for screening cervical cancer in the clinic. The use of prophylactic HPV vaccine has been accepted in Korea; The Korean Society of Gynecologic Oncology and Colposcopy's recommendation for routine vaccination is for females aged 15-17 years with a catch-up vaccination recommended for females aged 18-26 years who have not been previously vaccinated. However, many people in Korea are not familiar with the HPV vaccine. Therefore, it is necessary to improve awareness for the disease and HPV vaccination and to establish the effective strategies to obtain funding for HPV vaccination. In the future, cervical cancer is expected to disappear throughout the world, including the Asia Pacific region, through a combination of vaccination and qualified screening programs for cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer; Human papillomavirus vaccines
Significant disparities in cervical cancer incidence and mortality exist among ethnic minority women, and in particular, among Asian American women. These disparities have been attributed primarily to differences in screening rates across ethnic/racial groups. Asian American women have one of the lowest rates of screening compared to other ethnic/racial groups. Yet Asian Americans, who comprise one of the fastest growing populations in the United States, have received the least attention in cancer control research. Studies suggest that various factors, including lack of knowledge, psychosocial and cultural beliefs, and access barriers, are associated with cervical cancer screening behaviors among Asian American women. Indeed, the few interventions that have been developed for Asian American women demonstrate that targeting these factors can yield significant increases in screening rates. It is important to note, however, that the effectiveness of educational interventions is often attenuated if access barriers are not adequately addressed. Hence, interventions that include key essential components, such as the use of community individuals as lay health workers, culturally-tailored and linguistically-appropriate educational materials, and navigation assistance to overcome access barriers, are more likely to be successful in enhancing screening rates. As the benefits of community-based cervical cancer prevention programs become more apparent, it will be essential to identify effective approaches for disseminating such programs more broadly. In conclusion, community-based cervical cancer screening programs have demonstrated promise in addressing existing cervical cancer disparities by increasing awareness and knowledge and promoting recommended screening behaviors. These findings will be instrumental in guiding future community-based programs to reduce cervical cancer health disparities among Asian American women.
cervical cancer; screening; Asian Americans; disparities; cancer prevention; community-based; psychosocial beliefs; access barriers
The purpose of this community-based study was to apply a Sociocultural Health Behavior Model to determine the association of factors proposed in the model with breast cancer screening behaviors among Asian American women.
A cross-sectional design included a sample of 682 Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese women aged 40 years and older. The frequency distribution analysis and Chi-square analysis were used for the initial screening of the following variables: sociodemographic, cultural, enabling, environmental, and social support. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted on factors for breast cancer screening using multinomial logistic regression analysis.
Correlates to positive breast cancer screening included demographics (ethnicity), cultural factors (living in the United States for 15 years or more, speaking English well), enabling factors (having a regular physician to visit, health insurance covering the screening), and family/social support factors (those who had a family/friend receiving a mammogram).
The results of this study suggest that breast cancer screening programs will be more effective if they include the cultural and health beliefs, enabling, and social support factors associated with breast cancer screening. The use of community organizations may play a role in helping to increase breast cancer screening rates among Asian American women.
breast cancer screening; Vietnamese; Korean; Chinese; breast cancer; Asian American
Pacific Islander women represent a significant at-risk population for cervical cancer, yet little is known about the modifiable factors associated with routine Pap testing. Therefore, the aims of this paper are to report and discuss the known and unknown factors associated with cervical cancer screening among Chamorro women in California.
This cross-sectional study explored the factors associated with receipt of regular Pap testing among Chamorro women age 18 years and older in California. A self-administered survey was designed and distributed to women in order to understand their knowledge, beliefs and behaviors regarding routine receipt of Pap tests.
Only about two-thirds of women had received a Pap test within the past two years, which is below the U.S. average of 72%. Significant predictors included age, health insurance coverage, knowledge of screening frequency, and beliefs regarding risk groups. These factors, however, accounted for less than 16% of the variance in Pap testing behavior.
We discuss the poor predictive value of existing demographic and theoretical variables, and discuss potentially new areas of research that can aid in the development of future intervention studies. Study limitations and implications are also discussed.
cervical cancer; Pap testing; Pacific Islander; Chamorro
The current study sought to determine knowledge about HPV, HPV vaccination and their relationship to cancer; assess acceptability of and intent to vaccinate; and describe the individual characteristics, cultural attitudes, social and environmental factors that affect African American parents' intent to vaccinate.
Two hundred African Americans completed self-administered surveys that assessed factors that may influence HPV vaccination behavior: HPV, cervical cancer, Pap and HPV vaccination knowledge; HPV and cervical cancer risk perception; cultural attitudes and beliefs, such as medical mistrust, spirituality/religiosity, and attitudes about adolescent sexuality and sexual risk behaviors. Eligibility criteria included men and women who: self-identified as African American and had a daughter nine to 17 years of age who had not been told that she had an HPV infection.
Among these African American parents, approximately two-thirds were aware of HPV and HPV vaccination. These individuals were likely to be female, younger, employed, to have social resources, and to have contact with family or friends previously diagnosed with cervical cancer. They were also knowledgeable about HPV, but knowledge did not necessarily lead to vaccination. Among the subgroup of aware individuals who reported having daughters that were and were not vaccinated, vaccination status was significantly affected by whether a pediatrician had recommended the vaccine (p < 0.001). A greater percentage of parents with vaccinated daughters were worried that their child would one day contract an STI. There were no significant differences between the vaccinated and non-vaccinated groups with respect to demographic characteristics or socio-cultural attitudes.
There is a need for continued HPV promotion and education efforts in the African American community. Discussions with pediatric and family practitioners are key to HPV education and promotion activities.
Our study aimed to assess adult women’s knowledge of human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer, and characterize their attitudes towards potential screening and prevention strategies.
Women were participants of an HIV-discordant couples cohort in Nairobi, Kenya. An interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to obtain information on sociodemographic status, and sexual and medical history at baseline and on knowledge and attitudes towards Pap smears, self-sampling, and HPV vaccination at study exit.
Only 14% of the 409 women (67% HIV-positive; median age 29 years) had ever had a Pap smear prior to study enrollment and very few women had ever heard of HPV (18%). Although most women knew that Pap smears detect cervical cancer (69%), very few knew that routine Pap screening is the main way to prevent ICC (18%). Most women reported a high level of cultural acceptability for Pap smear screening and a low level of physical discomfort during Pap smear collection. In addition, over 80% of women reported that they would feel comfortable using a self-sampling device (82%) and would prefer at-home sample collection (84%). Nearly all women (94%) reported willingness to be vaccinated to prevent cervical cancer if offered at no or low cost.
These findings highlight the need to educate women on routine use of Pap smears in the prevention of cervical cancer and demonstrate that vaccination and self-sampling would be acceptable modalities for cervical cancer prevention and screening.
Chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis B-associated liver cancer is a major health disparity among Vietnamese Americans, who have a chronic hepatitis B prevalence rate of 7–14% and an incidence rate for liver cancer six times that of non-Latino whites.
Describe factors associated with hepatitis B testing among Vietnamese Americans.
A population-based telephone survey conducted in 2007–2008.
Vietnamese Americans age 18–64 and living in the Northern California and Washington, DC areas (N = 1,704).
Variables included self-reports of sociodemographics, health care factors, and hepatitis B-related behaviors, knowledge, beliefs, and communication with others. The main outcome variable was self-reported receipt of hepatitis B testing.
The cooperation rate was 63.1% and the response rate was 27.4%. Only 62% of respondents reported having received a hepatitis B test and 26%, hepatitis B vaccination. Only 54% knew that hepatitis B could be transmitted by sexual intercourse. In multivariable analyses, factors negatively associated with testing included: age 30–49 years, US residence for >10 years, less Vietnamese fluency, lower income, and believing that hepatitis B can be deadly. Factors positively associated with testing included: Northern California residence, having had hepatitis B vaccination, having discussed hepatitis B with family/friends, and employer requested testing. Physician recommendation of hepatitis B testing (OR 4.46, 95% CI 3.36, 5.93) and respondent's request for hepatitis B testing (OR 8.37, 95% CI 5.95, 11.78) were strongly associated with test receipt.
Self-reports of hepatitis B testing among Vietnamese Americans remain unacceptably low. Physician recommendation and patient request were the factors most strongly associated with test receipt. A comprehensive effort is needed to promote hepatitis B testing in this population, including culturally-targeted community outreach, increased access to testing, and physician education.
hepatitis B; Vietnamese Americans; testing
Cervical cancer remains to be one of the leading malignancies among Filipino women. High-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) types, such as 16 and 18, are consistently identified in Filipino women with cervical cancer. Factors identified to increase the likelihood of HPV infection and subsequent development of cervical cancer include young age at first intercourse, low socioeconomic status, high parity, smoking, use of oral contraception and risky sexual behaviors. Cancer screening programs presently available in the Philippines include Pap smears, single visit approach utilizing visual inspection with acetic acid followed by cryotherapy, as well as colposcopy. However, the uptake of screening remains low and is further compounded by the lack of basic knowledge women have regarding screening as an opportunity for prevention of cervical cancer. Prophylactic HPV vaccination of both quadrivalent and bivalent vaccines has already been approved in the Philippines and is gaining popularity among the Filipinos. However, there has been no national or government vaccination policy implemented as of yet. The standard of treatment of cervical cancer is radiotherapy concurrent with chemotherapy. Current researches are directed towards improving availability of both preventive and curative measures of cervical cancer management.
Cervical cancer; Epidemiology; Screening; Human papillomavirus vaccines
Cervical cancer is the most common genital cancer and one of the leading causes of death among female population. Fortunately, this cancer is preventable by screening for premalignant lesions but this is rarely provided and hardly utilised. We assessed the knowledge, attitude and utilisation of cervical cancer screening among market women in Sabon Gari, Zaria.
Materials and Methods:
This was a cross-sectional study to evaluate the knowledge, attitude and practice of cervical cancer screening among market women. A total of 260 women were administered with questionnaires which were both self and interviewer administered. These were analysed using SPSS version 11.
Respondents exhibited a fair knowledge of cervical cancer and cervical cancer screening (43.5%); however, their knowledge of risk factors was poor. There was generally good attitude to cervical cancer screening (80.4%), but their level of practice was low (15.4%).
There was a fair knowledge of cervical cancer and cervical cancer screening among Nigerian market women in this study, their practice of cervical cancer screening was poor.
Cervical; cancer; screening; Zaria
If women who receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine are unduly reassured about the cancer prevention benefits of vaccination, they may choose not to participate in screening, thereby increasing their risk for cervical cancer. This study assesses adult women’s knowledge of the need to continue cervical cancer screening after HPV vaccination, describes Pap test intentions of vaccinated young adult women, and evaluates whether knowledge and intentions differ across groups at greatest risk for cervical cancer.
Data were from the 2008 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) and the 2008 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), which initiated data collection approximately 18 months after the first FDA approval of an HPV vaccine. We calculated associations between independent variables and the outcomes using chi-square tests.
Of 1,586 female HINTS respondents ages 18 through 74, 95.6% knew that HPV-vaccinated women should continue to receive Pap tests. This knowledge did not vary significantly by race/ethnicity, education, income, or healthcare access. Among 1,101 female NHIS respondents ages 18 to 26 who had ever received a Pap test, the proportion (12.7%; n = 139) who reported receipt of the HPV vaccine were more likely than those not vaccinated to plan to receive a Pap test within three years (98.1% vs. 92.5%, p<0.001).
US adult women possess high knowledge and intention to participate in Pap testing after HPV vaccination. The vast majority of young adult women who received the HPV vaccine within its first two years on the market intend to participate in cervical cancer screening in the near future. Future studies are needed to examine whether those vaccinated in adolescence will become aware of, and adhere to, screening guidelines as they become eligible.
human papillomavirus (HPV); cervical cancer; cancer screening; disparities
Five times more Vietnamese-American women develop cervical cancer than white women. Few studies have examined whether community-based participatory research can effectively address Asian immigrants' health problems. This article reports the preliminary evaluation of 1 such project.
A coalition of 11 organizations in Santa Clara County, California worked with university researchers to design and simultaneously implement a media education (ME) campaign and a lay health worker outreach (LHWO) program to increase Vietnamese-American women's cervical cancer awareness, knowledge, and screening. Two agencies each recruited 10 lay health workers (LHWs), who, in turn, each recruited 20 women who were then randomized into 2 groups: 10 to LHWO+ME (n = 200) and 10 to ME alone (n = 200). LHWs organized meetings with women to increase their knowledge and to motivate them to obtain Pap tests. Participants completed pre- and post-intervention questionnaires.
At post-intervention, significantly more LHWO+ME women understood that human papillomavirus and smoking cause cervical cancer. The number of women who had obtained a Pap test increased significantly among women in both LHWO+ME and ME groups, but substantially more in the LHWO+ME group. Significantly more LHWO+ME women said they intended to have a Pap test.
Media education campaigns can increase Vietnamese women's awareness of the importance of Pap tests, but lay health workers are more effective at encouraging women to actually obtain the tests. Lay health workers are effective because they use their cultural knowledge and social networks to create change. Researchers, community members, and community-based organizations can share expert knowledge and skills, and build one another's capacities.
cervical cancer; screening; vietnamese; lay health worker; media
We conducted a trial to evaluate the effectiveness of a cervical cancer control intervention for Vietnamese women.
The study group included 234 women who had not received a Pap test in the last three years. Experimental group participants received a lay health worker home visit. Our trial end-point was Pap smear receipt within six months of randomization. Pap testing completion was ascertained through women's self-reports and medical record reviews. We examined intervention effects among women who had ever received a Pap smear (prior to randomization) and women who had never received a Pap smear.
Three-quarters of the experimental group women completed a home visit. Ever screened experimental group women were significantly more likely to report Pap testing (p<0.02) and have records verified Pap testing (p<0.04) than ever screened control group women. There were no significant differences between the trial arms for women who had never been screened.
Our findings indicate that lay health worker interventions for Vietnamese women are feasible to implement and can positively impact levels of Pap testing use among ever screened women (but not never screened women).
Asian Americans; Cancer; Screening
The purpose of this paper is to describe the epidemiology of cancer in Vietnamese Americans and reviews some of the successful intervention strategies that have been accomplished in Northern California.
Preventable cancers are among the leading causes of death in Vietnamese Americans, who have higher than average rates of smoking and lower than average rates for breast and cervical cancer screening, and lower rates of hepatitis B vaccination. Community-based intervention trials have shown good success in reducing these risk factors.
Despite successes, more work needs to be done. Continuing research and dissemination of successful intervention strategies will help improve the health of Vietnamese Americans, one of the fastest growing populations in the U.S.
Attitudes and beliefs affect women’s cervical cancer screening behavior.
We surveyed 228 women in Cape Town, South Africa about their screening history, knowledge, beliefs, and access barriers regarding Papanicolaou (Pap) smears and cervical cancer.
More than half of the participants had never had a Pap smear or had 1 more than 10 years ago. One third did not know what a Pap smear was. Lengthy wait times and fatalistic beliefs also affected screening behavior. Ethnicity was associated with differences in beliefs.
Opportunistic cancer screening events are an effective way that women can obtain Pap smears and cancer education.
Vietnamese American men have smoking prevalence rates higher than the general population. We analyzed Vietnamese American smoking behavior by demographic and health-related factors, including some specific to Vietnamese, in the largest tobacco-specific survey yet targeting the Vietnamese population.
Using a statewide surname probability sample and computer-assisted telephone interviewing, we surveyed 1,101 Vietnamese men and 1,078 Vietnamese women in California (63.5% participation among successfully contacted eligible individuals) in 2007–2008. We conducted multivariate regression models to analyze the association between Vietnamese male smoking status and demographic and health-related factors.
Among women, <1% were current smokers and <2% were former smokers. Among men, 25% were current and 24% were former smokers. Regression models for Vietnamese men delineated factors associated with both current and former smoking (vs. never smoking): being married, being employed, having lower educational attainment, and consuming alcohol. Other factors associated with current smoking (vs. never smoking) were having no health insurance, having seen a Vietnamese doctor or no doctor visit in the past year, having Vietnamese military or Vietnamese reeducation camp experience, having less knowledge about the harms of smoking, and reporting higher depression symptoms. Increasing age and not being Buddhist were associated with former (vs. never) smoking.
Smoking patterns of Vietnamese women and Vietnamese men are significantly different from the general California population. Tobacco control efforts targeting Vietnamese men should include community outreach since current smokers have low health care access, utilization, and knowledge.