Awareness of Pap testing and factors associated with intent to undergo Pap testing by level of sexual experience in unmarried university students in Korea: results from an online survey
- Kim, Hae Won
- Issue Date
- BioMed Central
- BMC Women's Health. 2014, 14(1):100
- Background: Young and unmarried women have not been a target group for cervical cancer prevention in Korea. No previous studies have investigated the awareness of Pap testing, the intention to undergo Pap testing, or the factors associated with that intention, in this group of women. This information would be useful for an expansion in the focus of primary cervical cancer prevention. This study aimed to compare the awareness of Pap testing between groups of unmarried university students in Korea, and to investigate the factors associated with the intention to undergo Pap testing, by level of sexual experience.
Methods: A total of 475 unmarried university students who had never undergone a Pap test completed a web-based survey. Differences in awareness of the importance of the Pap test, confidence in Pap testing, intention to undergo the test, attitudes, subjective norms, perceived control, stigma, and shame by level of sexual experience were analysed using independent t-tests. Associations between measurement variables and intention to undergo Pap testing were analysed using correlation analysis. Variables yielding significant associations (p < 0.05) were included in a stepwise multiple regression model of intention to undergo Pap testing.
Results: Most participants perceived that the need for regular Pap testing was less important (score, 77.76) than other methods of cervical cancer prevention. They were not confident that is was an effective method of cervical cancer prevention for themselves (score, 59.56). There were differences in confidence in Pap testing and in the factors associated with intention to undergo Pap testing between sexually experienced and sexually inexperienced students. Regardless of level of sexual experience, the subjective norm was the most important predictor of intention to undergo Pap testing.
Conclusions: There was a low level of Pap screening awareness among the students. The factors associated with intention to undergo Pap testing differed by level of sexual experience. Social influence was an important factor that could be used to increase the intention to receive a Pap test in the university student population. Strategies to increase the intention to undergo Pap screening should be introduced and should be adapted to the level of sexual experience.