Exploring Health Literacy and the Correlates of Pap Testing Among African Immigrant Women: Findings from the AfroPap Study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

African immigrant (AI) women have low rates of Pap testing. Health literacy plays a pivotal role in health behaviors. Sources and types of health information could shape health literacy and inform the Pap testing behaviors of AI women. However, the influences of health literacy, sources, and types of health information along with cultural and psychosocial correlates on the Pap testing behaviors of AI women are poorly understood. To examine how sources and types of health information impact health literacy, and in turn, how health literacy and cultural and psychosocial factors influence the Pap testing behaviors of AI women. An adapted Health Literacy Skills Framework guided the selection of variables for this cross-sectional study. Convenience sampling was used to recruit 167 AI women, 21–65 years. Multivariate logistic regression was used to assess correlates of Pap testing after adjusting for covariates (age, education, English proficiency, employment, income, health insurance, access to primary care, marital status, and healthcare provider recommendation). Most participants (71%) had received a Pap test in the past and used multiple (two or more) sources (65%) and types (57%) of health information. Using multiple sources of health information (aOR 0.11, p < 0.01) but not types of health information was associated with Pap testing. Having negative cultural beliefs (aOR 0.17, p = 0.01) and having high self-efficacy (aOR 9.38, p < 0.01) were significantly associated with Pap testing after adjusting for covariates. High health literacy (OR 3.23, p < 0.05) and high decisional balance (OR 5.28, p < 0.001) were associated with Pap testing in bivariate models but did not remain significant after controlling for covariates. Cultural beliefs was a significant correlate of AI women’s Pap testing behaviors regardless of other known social determinants of health (education, English proficiency, age, access to primary care). Disseminating health information through various sources has the potential to promote Pap testing among AI women. Larger studies which utilize a robust sampling strategy and include a diverse group of AI women are needed in order to optimize health interventions aimed at improving Pap test screening behaviors among AI women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020

Keywords

  • African immigrant
  • Health literacy
  • Pap testing
  • Psychosocial factors
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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