Female Asian-American College Students' Attitudes and Cultural Beliefs about Obtaining Papanicolaou Tests
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Cervical cancer is a major health disparity found among Asian-American women. This study utilized the Theory of Reasoned Action as the framework to assess Asian-American female students’ attitudes, beliefs, and intentions regarding Papanicolaou (Pap) tests. A purposive sample of 11 female students participated in a demographic survey and a one-on-one interview in May 2011. The survey addressed demographic information such as age and current student classification. The interviews were conducted by the principal investigator and consisted of nine open ended questions. The purpose of this study was to explore variables that could potentially affect female Asian-American college students’ intentions of obtaining Pap tests. The majority of respondents had common misconceptions about Pap tests. In addition, many had positive feelings towards the test and felt comfortable talking with their parents about the topic of cervical cancer screenings. All participants shared the same belief that abstinence is highly valued in their cultures. Results indicated that although Asian-American females’ attitudes and subjective norms played a role in their decision to obtain a Pap test, 63.6% of participants had no intention of scheduling a Pap test within a year. Health promotion on college campuses should be considered in order to increase awareness of cervical cancer screenings and HPV for the young Asian-American population.