Assessment of Pap-Smear Testing and Women's Health within Taiwan
Fu, Shiu-Yun K.
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Purpose: To decrease the occurrence of high mortality rates for cervical cancer, pap-smear screening is essential for all women. The proportion of women in Taiwan who have not had a pap-smear test is extremely high. Methods: The research consisted of 2 phases involving both quantitative and qualitative methods. 90 women who had not received a pap-smear screen within the past three years were involved. Phase one of the study was a quasi-experimental design, phase two was an in-depth analysis to understand why some women did not have pap-smear testing. This report is specifically for the qualitative data analysis. Results: The results indicated many reasons for women not participating in pap-smear screening; they were lack of health knowledge, limited understanding of the screening process and of HPV and cervical cancer. (1) Women reported their general source of information was from TV and community leaders, there was no other health information available that they were aware of. (2) Many commented that as time passed so quickly they were not able to follow up with regular timed checkups. (3)Limited sexual activity also influenced their decisions and they felt no need to have a check up. (4)Women felt they needed to participate in a pap-smear screen only if they were reminded by their health professionals or their spouse. Conclusion: There were multiple factors in determining if women had a pap- smear test. Although women knew of government encouragement to participate in screening they did not understand the symptoms and by utilizing motivation interviewing techniques there was help to self explore their health options and create self awareness by promoting self advocacy and active behavior patterns. Furthermore, the relationship between community nurses and client's created an understanding which encouraged many women to alter their awareness and improve their self advocacy and enhance positive health outcomes.