, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 242-248
Date: 29 Dec 2010

Factors Associated with Perceived Susceptibility to Cervical Cancer Among Latina Immigrants in Alabama

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Abstract

To examine factors associated with perceived susceptibility to cervical cancer among Latina immigrants in two counties in Alabama. Datasets from two anonymous cross-sectional surveys from two studies were combined for these analyses. The total sample size was 743 women. Participants’ average age was 30 ± 6.8 years and they were mainly from Mexico (89.2%). Almost 36% of the participants did not perceive themselves as being susceptible to cervical cancer, 33.9% did not know if they were susceptible, and 30.4% perceived themselves as susceptible. Educational attainment, thinking they may have been exposed to an STI in the past, thinking they may be at risk of HPV currently, having had a Pap smear within the last year, and having a relative with cancer were significantly associated with perceived susceptibility to cervical cancer in the multinomial logistic regression. Greater knowledge about cervical cancer risk factors reduced the uncertainty about perceived susceptibility. Perceived susceptibility to cervical cancer seems to be influenced more importantly by the current or past perception of HPV/STI exposure, and by having a relative with cancer. This finding is critical in the development of interventions that are tailored to Latina immigrants as well as efforts to educate providers in a state where Latino immigration is a recent phenomenon.