After the Vaccine: Cervical Cancer Screening in Army Women
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in U.S. military women, a much greater risk than observed in the general population. Health seeking behaviors such as consistent cervical cancer screening and vaccination against specific human papillomaviruses (HPV) can greatly reduce a woman's risk for cervical cancer. Thus delays in health seeking behaviors and those factors which influence delay remain significant and relevant to military healthcare researchers to support and maintain a healthy military force. Underpinned by the Theory of Reasoned Action, findings included that female Soldiers had generally positive attitudes towards cervical cancer screening. However, one in five female Soldiers had not completed a cervical cancer screening exam in the previous year. One in ten female Soldiers less than 27 years in age had completed the HPV vaccination. Utilizing a predictive correlation study design, the primary objective of this research endeavor predicted the strongest determinant for adherence to cervical cancer screening and HPV vaccination was encouragement by a healthcare provider. Finally, although most female Soldiers were aware of their last cervical cancer screening exam, female soldiers tended to over report their previous HPV vaccination behavior. By gaining an understanding of determinates for health seeking behaviors in female soldiers, future targeted evidence-based interventional strategies can confidently be developed to bolster healthcare seeking in this population and potentially reduce their overall incidence of cervical cancer.
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