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.