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Ending cervical cancer screening: attitudes and beliefs from ethnically diverse older women

  • George F. Sawaya
    Affiliations
    Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA

    Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA

    Medical Effectiveness Research Center for Diverse Populations, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA
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  • A. Yuri Iwaoka-Scott
    Affiliations
    Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA
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  • Sue Kim
    Affiliations
    Medical Effectiveness Research Center for Diverse Populations, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA

    Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA
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  • Sabrina T. Wong
    Affiliations
    Medical Effectiveness Research Center for Diverse Populations, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA

    University of British Columbia School of Nursing and Centre for Health Services and Policy Research, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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  • Alison J. Huang
    Affiliations
    Medical Effectiveness Research Center for Diverse Populations, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA

    Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA
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  • A. Eugene Washington
    Affiliations
    Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA

    Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA

    Medical Effectiveness Research Center for Diverse Populations, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA
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  • Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable
    Correspondence
    Reprints: Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, MD, 3333 California St, Suite 335, San Francisco, CA 94134-0856
    Affiliations
    Medical Effectiveness Research Center for Diverse Populations, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA

    Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA
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Published:November 03, 2008DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2008.07.015

      Objective

      Guidelines support ending cervical cancer screening in women aged 65-70 years and older with previous normal testing, but little is known about older women's attitudes and beliefs about ending screening.

      Study Design

      We conducted face-to-face interviews with 199 women aged 65 and older in English, Spanish, Cantonese, or Mandarin.

      Results

      Most interviewees were nonwhite (44.7% Asian, 18.1% Latina, and 11.6% African American). Most (68%) thought lifelong screening was either important or very important, a belief held more strongly by African American (77%) and Latina (83%) women compared with women in other ethnic groups (P < .01). Most (77%) had no plans to discontinue screening or had ever thought of discontinuing (69%). When asked if they would end screening if recommended by their physician, 68% responded “yes.”

      Conclusion

      The majority of these women believe that lifelong cervical cancer screening is important. Many women, however, reported that they would end screening if recommended by their physician.

      Key words

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