Date of Award

Spring 4-16-2004

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Chris Bosquez

Second Advisor

Dawn B. Ludwig


Background The pap smear test is highly effective at detecting pre-cancerous and cancerous cervical cells. However, only 68.3 percent of women in the U.S. received a Pap smear in 2001. Previous research studies have shown that overweight and obese women are less likely to receive routine pap smears. This is especially concerning because obesity is a risk factor for cervical cancer Methods A retrospective review of data was conducted from the medical records of 90 women, 18 years of age or older, who were seen by the researcher at SMDC clinics in Deer River and Remer, Minnesota from February 2003 through May 2003. Results Bivariate analysis revealed an inverse trend between BMI levels and the prevalence of pap smears. Women in the highest BMI level were the least likely to have received a Pap smear (63.6%, n = 11). Overall, however, only 76.7 percent of all of the subjects had received a Pap smear within in the past three years. There was, however, a strong, positive correlation between Pap smears and physical exams (Pearson's coefficient 0.716, p < 0.001). Conclusions The results revealed that the cervical cancer screening rates for the Deer River and Remer clinics were well below the national goal (76.7% verses 90%). Even though obese women were the least likely to have received a routine Pap smear, the correlation between Pap smears and exams indicated that the providers at the Deer River and Remer clinics consistently performed Pap smears regardless of a patient's body mass index


SC 11.PAS.2004.Maas.D