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Screening for cervical cancer among Israeli lesbian women

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Background: 

The proportion of lesbian women who contract the human papilloma virus may reach 13% or even 21%; however, lesbian women were found to receive Pap smear tests less often or less regularly. Aim: 

To explore factors influencing lesbian women to undergo Pap smear tests and to determine whether the Health Belief Model (HBM) is able to predict whether lesbian women would be willing to undergo the test. Method: 

This is a correlational quantitative study guided by the HBM. A convenience sample of 108 Israeli lesbian women was recruited from local events in the lesbian community in the city of Tel Aviv, Israel. Data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire. Findings: 

Findings indicate that only 22.2% of the women had undergone Pap smear tests in the past, but a slightly higher proportion, 30.8%, intended to be tested during the next year. Older women were found to be more compliant with the test. Model-based factors affecting actual testing were perceived benefits and barriers. Factors affecting women's intention to be tested were perceived susceptibility, perceived benefits and general health motivation. Conclusions: 

Effective strategies for nurses promoting cervical cancer screening among lesbians should address ways to improve familiarity with Pap smear tests, raise physicians' awareness of offering the test to lesbians and emphasize the importance of women-based medical teams.
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Keywords: Health Belief Model; Israeli Lesbian Women; Pap Smear Test

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Nurse, Pat Matthews Academic School of Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Stanley Steyer School of Health Professions, Tel Aviv University, Hadera, Israel

Publication date: 2009-12-01

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