Submitted: 09 Jan 2021
Accepted: 08 Sep 2021
ePublished: 30 Dec 2021
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J Educ Community Health. 2021;8: 291-297.
doi: 10.52547/jech.8.4.291

Scopus ID: 85124846517
  Abstract View: 124
  PDF Download: 76

Cancer Prevention

Research Article

The Pap Smear Test Experience of Iranian Women: A Qualitative Study

Arezoo Fallahi 1, Parvaneh Taymoori 2*, Fatemeh Aslibeigi 3, Sahar Khoshravesh 4

1 Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Research Institute for Health Development, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran
2 “Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Research Institute for Health Development” and “Department of Public Health, School of Health”, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran
3 Department of Public Health, School of Health, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran.
4 Department of Public Health, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran
*Corresponding Author: Email: parvaneh.tay@gmail.com


Aims: The Pap smear test as the primary screening test for cervical cancer has a low application rate among Iranian women. This study aimed to explore Iranian women’s Pap smear test experiences at healthcare centers.

Participants & Methods: This qualitative study was carried out in Varamin City, in 2018. To this end, 15 women admitted to healthcare centers were selected using purposive sampling. Inclusion criteria consisted of married women aged 20-50 years with a history of Pap smear, willingness to participate in the study, Iranian nationality, and ability to speak. To explore the women’s views and experiences, semi-structured interviews were conducted, recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using content analysis. Four criteria, namely credibility, confirmability, dependability, and transferability were used to verify the accuracy and consistency of the data.

Findings: The data analysis yielded five main categories, including “intention to perform the test”,“policies and the administrative system”, “social factors helping to perform the test”, “barriers to perform the test”, and “motivational factors to perform the test”. From the participants’ perspective, risk concepts, and supportive policies were critical in enhancing test performance.

Conclusions: The results showed that the women’s Pap smear test performance depended on some factors including convenient and friendly interactions with healthcare providers, family support, encouraging policies and laws, and awareness. The cooperation of other organizations to perform a Pap smear test is also emphasized.

Keywords: Papanicolaou test, Uterine Cervical Neoplasms, Women, Qualitative research
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