Perceived Spousal Support and Beliefs Towards Cervical Smear Screening Among Chinese Women

  • Su-I Hou The University of Georgia, Athens


Objective: Family is a major part of the social support network in Chinese society. This study examines the role of Chinese women’s perceived support from spouse on their cervical cancer screening beliefs and intention. Design: Participants were recruited from female family members of inpatients admitted to one of the major teaching hospitals in Taiwan (n=424). Screening intention, beliefs (perceived pros, cons, risk, and norms), and demographics were assessed via a self-administered survey. Women were classified into two groups based on their perceived spousal support towards having a cervical smear screening (low versus high). Results: Mean age of the sample was 34 years, 28% did not have high school education, 37% expressed no screening intention in the next 12 months, and 58% perceived their general health to be fair or poor. Women who perceived lower spousal support were more likely to be those without high school education (39% vs. 21%) or with lower perceived health status (65% vs. 54%). After adjusting for these demographic variables, multiple regression analyses revealed that women who perceived lower spousal support were associated with lower perceived benefits (B=-.210, p<.001), higher barriers (B=.228, p<.001), and lower norms towards cervical smear screening (B=-.127, p=.012). On the other hand, women who perceived higher spousal support were associated with positive intention to screening (OR=1.94; 95% C.I. = [1.28, 2.95]). Conclusion: The study shows that perceived spousal support could be an important factor that influences various beliefs towards cervical smear screening among Chinese women. Future research should consider examine factors associated with spousal support, as well as its impact on screening adoption among different ethnic groups. The current finding has implications on intervention programs targeting spouse or significant others on promoting gynecological cancer screenings among Asian women.
How to Cite
Hou, S.-I. (2006). Perceived Spousal Support and Beliefs Towards Cervical Smear Screening Among Chinese Women. Californian Journal of Health Promotion, 4(3), 157-164.