Is there a Language Divide in Pap Test Use?

Columbia University, New York, New York, United States
Medical Care (Impact Factor: 3.23). 12/2006; 44(11):998-1004. DOI: 10.1097/01.mlr.0000233676.61237.ef
Source: PubMed


We sought to determine whether primary language use, measured by language of interview, is associated with disparities in cervical cancer screening.
We undertook a secondary data analysis of a pooled sample of the 2001 and 2003 California Health Interview Surveys. The surveys were conducted in English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, and Vietnamese.
The study was a cross-sectional analysis of 3-year Pap test use among women ages 18 to 64, with no reported cervical cancer diagnosis or hysterectomy (n = 38,931). In addition to language of interview, other factors studied included race/ethnicity, marital status, income, educational attainment, years lived in the United States, insurance status, usual source of care, smoking status, area of residence, and self-rated health status.
We fit weighted multivariate logit models predicting 3-year Pap test use as a function of language of interview, adjusting for the effects of specified covariates.
Compared with the referent English interview group, women who interviewed in Spanish were 1.65 times more likely to receive a Pap test in the past 3 years. In contrast, we observed a significantly reduced risk of screening among women who interviewed in Vietnamese (odds ratio [OR] 0.67; confidence interval [CI] 0.48-0.93), Cantonese (OR 0.44; 95% CI 0.30-0.66), Mandarin (OR 0.48; 95% CI 0.33-0.72), and Korean (OR 0.62; 0.40-0.98).
Improved language access could reduce cancer screening disparities, especially in the Asian immigrant community.

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