Research Article
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Published Online: 7 July 2011

Association Between Sexual Behavior and Cervical Cancer Screening

Publication: Journal of Women's Health
Volume 20, Issue Number 7

Abstract

Background: Not much is known about whether women who follow Pap testing recommendations report the same pattern of sexual behavior as women who do not.
Methods: Data come from part of a larger population-based computer-assisted telephone survey of 8656 Australians aged 16–64 years resident in Australian households with a fixed telephone line (Australian Longitudinal Study of Health and Relationships [ALSHR]). The main outcome measure in the current study was having had a Pap test in the past 2 years.
Results: Data on a weighted sample of 4052 women who reported sexual experience (ever had vaginal intercourse) were analyzed. Overall, 73% of women in the sample reported having a Pap test in the past 2 years. Variables individually associated with Pap testing behavior included age, education, occupation, cohabitation status, residential location, tobacco and alcohol use, body mass index (BMI), lifetime and recent number of opposite sex partners, sexually transmitted infection (STI) history, and condom reliance for contraception. In adjusted analyses, women in their 30s, those who lived with their partner, and nonsmokers were more likely to have had a recent Pap test. Those who drank alcohol at least weekly were more likely to have had a recent test than irregular drinkers or nondrinkers. Women with no sexual partners in the last year were less likely to have had a Pap test, and women who reported a previous STI diagnosis were more likely to have had a Pap test in the past 2 years.
Conclusions: There are differences in Pap testing behavior among Australian women related to factors that may affect their risk of developing cervical abnormalities. Younger women and regular smokers were less likely to report a recent test. Screening programs should consider the need to focus recruitment strategies for these women.

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Information & Authors

Information

Published In

cover image Journal of Women's Health
Journal of Women's Health
Volume 20Issue Number 7July 2011
Pages: 1091 - 1096
PubMed: 21682554

History

Published online: 7 July 2011
Published in print: July 2011
Published ahead of print: 17 June 2011

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    Authors

    Affiliations

    Anthony M.A. Smith
    Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia.
    Wendy Heywood
    Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia.
    Richard Ryall
    Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia.
    Julia M. Shelley
    Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia.
    School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia.
    Marian K. Pitts
    Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia.
    Juliet Richters
    School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
    Judy M. Simpson
    Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Australia.
    Kent Patrick
    Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia.

    Notes

    Address correspondence to:Anthony M.A. Smith, Ph.D.Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & SocietyLa Trobe University215 Franklin StreetMelbourne, Victoria 3000Australia
    E-mail: [email protected]

    Disclosure Statement

    No completing financial interests exist.

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