Individual and Community Effectiveness of a Cervical Cancer Screening Program for Semi-Urban Mexican Women


The effectiveness at the individual and community level of an educational intervention to increase cervical cancer screening self-efficacy among semi-urban Mexican women was evaluated and changes in reported community barriers were measured after the intervention was implemented. The educational intervention was evaluated with a quasi-experimental pre-test/post-test design and a control group, based on the Integrative Model of Behavior Prediction and AMIGAS project materials. For the intervention group, increased self-efficacy increased requests to obtain a Pap (p < 0.05). Barriers to obtaining a Pap were embarrassment and lack of time at the individual level, and lack of time, test conditions and fear of social rejection in the community’s cultural domain. At both the individual and community levels, having more information about the test and knowing it would be performed by a woman were primary facilitators. Few women used medically precise information when referring to the Pap and cervical uterine cancer. Although the level of self-efficacy of the participants increased, barriers in the health system affect the women’s perceived ability to get a Pap. Better care for users is needed to increase consistent use of the test. The study shows the importance of using culturally adapted, multilevel, comprehensive interventions to achieve successful results in target populations.

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To Theresa Byrd of the University of Texas—Houston, and Judith Lee and Katherine Wilson of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for their useful advices during the study.

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Correspondence to Margarita Márquez-Serrano.

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Figueroa-Muñoz Ledo, A.A., Márquez-Serrano, M., Idrovo, A.J. et al. Individual and Community Effectiveness of a Cervical Cancer Screening Program for Semi-Urban Mexican Women. J Community Health 39, 423–431 (2014).

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  • Women
  • Self-efficacy
  • Papanicolaou
  • Cervical uterine cancer
  • Health services utilization