Journal of Cancer Education

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 82–89 | Cite as

Cervical Cancer Literacy in Women of Reproductive Age and Its Related Factors

  • Maryam Bazaz
  • Parvin Shahry
  • Sayed Mahmood Latifi
  • Marzieh ArabanEmail author


Cancer health literacy, which is the ability to search, understand, and use health information to make appropriate health decisions, plays an important role in the use of preventative and screening information. The present study aims to evaluate cervical cancer health literacy in women of reproductive age and its related factors. In this cross-sectional study, 231 women of reproductive age who referred to health centers of Khuzestan Province, Iran, were selected via convenience sampling. A valid and reliable measure was employed to collect information about various dimensions of cervical cancer health literacy, including having access to, reading, understanding, appraising, using, and communicating it. The data collected were analyzed using SPSS 16. Data analysis was conducted by independent sample t test, one-way ANOVA, Spearman’s correlation, chi-square, and linear regression. The participants’ average health literacy score was 97.88 ± 12.7 (from 135 points), and 47.2% of the participants had limited health literacy. Health literacy was associated with education, employment, income, searching, mothers’ and young friends’ counseling, and duration of the study time (p < 0.05). In linear regression model, there was a significant association between income (p = 0.011), searching (p = 0.01), study time (p = 0.009), and young friends’ counseling (p = 0.002) and cervical cancer literacy scores. In this study, no significant association was observed between age and health literacy. This study indicated that the cervical cancer literacy in women of reproductive age was not at good levels. Health workers should pay more attention to groups who are at greater risk of having low health literacy. Moreover, targeting and tailoring educational interventions with respect to different levels of cervical cancer literacy might increase cervical cancer screening.


Cervical cancer Health literacy Reproductive age Prevention 



This study is derived from a Master’s thesis conducted by Maryam Bazaz in a field of health education, which was conducted in the Social Determinants of Health Research Center with number SDH 9505. We would like to show our gratitude to those women who cooperated in this study.


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Copyright information

© American Association for Cancer Education 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health Education and Promotion, School of HealthAhvaz Jundishapur University of Medical SciencesAhvazIran
  2. 2.Social Determinants of Health Research CenterAhvaz Jundishapur University of Medical SciencesAhvazIran
  3. 3.Department of Biostatistics, Diabetes Research Center, School of HealthAhvaz Jundishapur University of Medical SciencesAhvazIran
  4. 4.Department of Health Education and Health Promotion, Public Health SchoolAhvaz Jundishapur University of Medical ScienceAhvazIran

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