Date of Award

1-1-1999

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Psychology (Clinical)

Faculty

Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Gloria Sutherland

Abstract

Cervical cancer remains a significant cause of death in women. There is a notable age related decrease in levels of screening and women aged over 50 years with later, more invasive disease. One hundred and forty women aged between 50 and 69 years (M "'58.21 years) and 23 Pap smear providers completed a Cervical Cancer Screening Questionnaire designed to identify the relative importance of barriers to attendance for cervical screening, as well as providers own barriers and issues. Responsibility for health, familiarity with, and ratings of the usefulness of Pap smears were the major dimensions along which regular and non-regular attenders differed supporting the hypothesis. Additionally, women who had regular Pap smears were younger, with higher levels of confidence in their provider, in the ability of the test to detect cervical cancer and in their overall value for the usefulness of the test. The application of the findings of the present study may improve the currently inconsistent promotion of cervical screening to older women. The use of a theoretical framework informed by the Theory of Reasoned Action and Multi-Attribute Utility Theory showed promising results in incorporating the diverse factors involved in participating. in preventative health screening. Recommendations are made on the necessity of both targeted and general intervention strategies to increase the uptake of preventative screening by at-risk groups.

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