Understanding Cervical Cancer Screening among Latinas through the Lens of Structure, Culture, Psychology and Communication

Published In

Journal Of Health Communication

Document Type


Publication Date



This study explored how structural and cultural forces work together with psychological and communication factors in influencing Pap test compliance among Latinas in Los Angeles County, a group who face health disparities related to cervical cancer screening, incidence and mortality. By adopting a multilevel approach to obtain a grounded understanding of this issue, this work revealed that structural barriers, fatalism, religious service attendance, perceived susceptibility, perceived costs, and cues to action from health care providers are all associated with Pap test compliance. Financial barriers also influence compliance, with underinsurance having a stronger negative impact compared to no insurance at all. These findings provide insights into how communication efforts can be strategically designed to address both individual- and system-level barriers to promote health-seeking behaviors among Latinas, and potentially among other population groups experiencing health disparities due to similar reasons.