Date of Conferral





Health Services


Ronald Hudak


African American women tend to have lower attendance rates at cervical cancer screenings compared to the attendance rates of women from other ethnic groups. The purpose of this research project was to understand how perceptions of African American women affects attendance of future cervical cancer screenings. The goal was to understand what contributes to low attendance. Previous research did not focus on factors contributing or interfering with appointment attendance among African American women, aged 30-65. The conceptual framework was based on individual health behavior. The research questions examined lived experiences affecting attendance of cervical cancer screenings, attendance of future screenings, and perceptions of experiences. Data collection was based on a phenomenological approach. Open-ended questions were used to gather descriptions of 5 participants' experiences via telephone interviews. These interviews were recorded, transcribed, and coded for recurring themes and patterns. Findings revealed 3 emergent themes related to the attendance of screenings: being knowledgeable of the purpose of cervical cancer screening, a female examiner performing the screening, and the encouragement of family and friends. The implications for social change would be increased knowledge among African American women aged 30-65 and the medical community.