Health Beliefs, Level of Acculturation, and Pap Smear Use Among Latinos from Mexico

The purpose of this study is to use community-based participatory research to investigate what men and women of Mexican origin believe about the Pap smear, to conduct a survey examining the relationship between beliefs, acculturation, and screening, and to pilot-test an intervention to increase cervical cancer screening.

We have completed the first two phases of our project one (in-depth interviews with over 50 Latino immigrants and surveys of nearly 500 Latino men and women). We are now completing the phase three of the project which involves developing an educational intervention based on the results of our qualitative and quantitative work. In particular, the intervention will focus on our findings that Mexican immigrant men and women often believe that the Pap smear screens for STDs, that very few have heard of the HPV vaccine, and that men significantly influence women’s health care seeking behavior. We plan to use a technique called teatro del oprimido as well as video to conduct our intervention.

We have also submitted an R21: “A Couples and Family-based Intervention to Prevent Cervical Cancer” to pilot a larger intervention and an RO1 application with the Immigrant and Community Organization, Multnomah County and two Latino CBOs to use popular education to increase cervical cancer prevention and empowerment among Vietnamese and Latina immigrants. That project is entitled “Prevencion es Poder/Phoong ng ua laa s uc manh (Prevention is Power)”.

This project is lead by Principal Investigator, Jessica Gregg, Associate Professor of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine and Co-Investigator Rosemary Celaya-Alston, Director, Familias en Accion. The Community Advisory Board is comprised of the following individuals:

  • Julio Maldonado, Multnomah County
  • Lourdes Tatiana Centurion, El Programa Hispano
  • Virginia Salinas, Multnomah County
  • Marco Mejia, Voz Workers’ Rights education project
  • Omar Vargas
  • Raquel Aguillon, Multnomah County