Racial and ethnic differences in personal cervical cancer screening amongst post-graduate physicians: results from a cross-sectional survey

Ross, Joseph S.; Nuñez-Smith, Marcella; Forsyth, Beverly A.; Rosenbaum, Julie R.
January 2008
BMC Public Health;2008, Vol. 8, p378
Academic Journal
Background: Racial and ethnic disparities in cervical cancer screening have been attributed to socioeconomic, insurance, and cultural differences. Our objective was to explore racial and ethnic differences in adherence to cervical cancer screening recommendations among female post-graduate physicians. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey at one university hospital among a convenience sample of 204 female post-graduate physicians (52% of all potential participants), examining adherence to United States Preventive Services Task Force cervical cancer screening recommendations, perception of adherence to recommendations, and barriers to obtaining care. Results: Overall, 83% of women were adherent to screening recommendations and 84% accurately perceived adherence or non-adherence. Women who self-identified as Asian were significantly less adherent when compared with women who self-identified as white (69% vs. 87%; Relative Risk [RR] = 0.79, 95% Confidence Interval [CI], 0.64-0.97; P < 0.01). Women who self-identified as East Indian were significantly less likely to accurately perceive adherence or non-adherence when compared to women who self-identified as white (64% vs. 88%; RR = 0.73, 95% CI, 0.49-1.09, P = 0.04). Women who self-identified as Asian were significantly more likely to report any barrier to obtaining care when compared with women who self-identified as white (60% vs. 35%; RR = 1.75, 95% CI, 1.24-2.47; P = 0.001) and there was a non-significant tendency toward women who self-identified as East Indian being more likely to report any barrier to obtaining care when compared with women who self-identified as white (60% vs. 34%; RR = 1.74, 95% CI, 1.06-2.83; P = 0.06). Conclusion: Among a small group of insured, highly-educated physicians who have access to health care, we found racial and ethnic differences in adherence to cervical cancer screening recommendations, suggesting that culture may play a role in cervical cancer screening.


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