Papanicolaou smear screening of women with intellectual disabilities: A cross-sectional survey in Taiwan

Lan Ping Lin, Jin Ding Lin, Chang Lin Sung, Ta Wen Liu, Yi Lian Liu, Li Mei Chen, Cordia M. Chu

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Although little is known about the incidence of cervical cancer in women with intellectual disabilities (ID), Pap smear screening is an effective public health program to prevent cervical cancer to this group of people. The purposes of this study were to identify and evaluate the factors regarding the utilization of the Pap smears in women with ID seen in the preventive health screening program. We employed a cross-sectional survey "2009 National Survey on Preventive Health Use and Determinants among People with Disabilities", with the study sample 508 women with ID (aged ≥15 years) participated in the research in Taiwan. Results showed that there were 22.1% women with ID had ever used Pap smear screening previously and mean age of the first screening was nearly 40 years old. Comparing to the general population in Taiwan, the ID women at age group <35 years was less likely to use screening and the age group ≥35 years was more likely to use Pap smears than did the general women. Finally, a logistic regression analysis showed that marital status and had experience of accepted tubal ligation surgery were two factors which predicted Pap smear test use in the study. Those women with ID who had marital status were 8.99 times (95% CI = 1.65-49.15) more likely than those had not marital status to use Pap smear test. Women with ID had experience on tubal ligation surgery were 10.48 times (95% CI = 1.40-78.26) more likely to use Pap smear test than their counterparts. This study highlights that to acknowledge the rights of women with ID to access Pap smear screening service, health professionals will need to become more flexible and competent in the service that they provide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-409
Number of pages7
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Papanicolaou (Pap) smear
  • Preventive health
  • Women's health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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