The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3248.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - Board 3

Abstract #72202

Vietnamese-American women and cervical cancer screening: A missed opportunity?

Ramani Rangavajhula, MD, PhD, Health Science, San Jose State University, 514 Mac Quarrie Hall, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA 95192-0052 and Kathleen L. Hofvendahl-Clark, MPH, Public Health, San Jose State University, 100 Washington Square, San Jose, CA 95102, (831)458-5356,

OBJECTIVES: 1. To compare the differences in the rates of childhood immunizations for Vietnamese-American children and the receipt of cervical cancer screening by Vietnamese-American women. 2. Discuss some ideas for bridging the gap. METHOD: A meta-analysis of the literature that discusses receipt of immunizations by Vietnamese-American children and receipt of screening services by Vietnamese-American women was conducted. The results of the seven articles identified for inclusion was collated to determine what factors contribute to the discrepancies between the rates. RESULTS: The immunization rates for Vietnamese-American children improved dramatically in the United States of America during the 1990s. By age two, 80-90% of Asian-American children were up-to-date with childhood immunizations. For Vietnamese-American women, however, receipt of Pap smears remains at about 50%, significantly lower than in the general population, despite cervical cancer awareness campaigns. CONCLUSIONS: Screening for cervical cancer and receipt of Pap smears by Vietnamese-American women are low compared to the general population. Immunization rates for Vietnamese-American children, however, are relative high. This difference may be due to the community being child-centric, or due to vaccination requirements for entering school. This may be a missed opportunity to educate and provide services to these women. Since, the mothers of Vietnamese-American children provide their children with access to health care and immunizations at a much higher rate than they themselves receive preventive health care, pediatric units and public health clinics may be the places to provide a quick Pap smear service for these women.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Women's Health, Vietnam

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Sexual Health in a Social Context

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA