According to the World Health Organization, every minute, one woman is diagnosed with cervical cancer, and every 2 minutes, one woman dies of cervical cancer globally (World Health Organization, 2022). The biggest tragedy is 99% of cervical cancer is caused by a preventable sexually transmitted infection known as human papilloma virus (World Health Organization, 2022).
Many US universities indicate approximately 30% of their admissions are international students. The lack of Pap smear screening in this population has not been clearly identified by college health care providers.
Fifty-one participants from a university located in the northeastern United States completed an online survey between September and October 2018. The survey was designed to identify disparities between United States residents and internationally admitted female students in their knowledge, attitudes, and practice of the Pap smear test.
One hundred percent of US students had heard of the Pap smear test as compared with 72.7% of international students (p = .008); 86.8% of US students considered a Pap smear as opposed to 45.5% of international students (p = .002), and 65.8% of US students previously had a Pap smear test as opposed to 18.8% of international students (p = .007).
Results revealed statistically significant differences between US and internationally admitted female college students in knowledge, attitudes, and practice of the Pap smear test.
This project helps to bring awareness to college health clinicians the need for cervical cancer education and Pap smear screening for our college age international female population.