Evid Based Nurs 3:92 doi:10.1136/ebn.3.3.92
  • Qualitative

Adolescents had poor knowledge about Papanicolaou (cervical) smear screening and identified many barriers to being screened

 QUESTION: How do adolescent girls understand and perceive Papanicolaou (Pap or cervical) smear screening and barriers to compliance?


Qualitative study using focus groups and indepth, semistructured interviews.


2 clinics in a children's hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


15 adolescents (mean age 18.7 y, 8 African-Americans, 5 with children, 11 in school, 7 with a history of sexually transmitted diseases) were approached and all had individual interviews. Adolescents who had been sexually active and who had normal and abnormal cervical smears were selected. Only a proportion of the latter group returned for follow up.


The interview guide was developed from data in 3 focus groups with 12 adolescents. The content was derived from 4 models (health belief model, social cognitive theory, theory of planned behaviour, and transtheoretical model and stages of change). The individual interview guide included questions and a scenario about health concerns; knowledge about pelvic examinations and …

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