Psychometric Testing of the Pap Smear Belief Questionnaire: Measuring Women's Attitudes and Beliefs Toward Cervical Cancer Screening

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Background and Purpose:

Some women avoid routine Pap testing because of negative attitudes and beliefs. The ability to measure these factors is limited by lack of valid and reliable tools. Therefore, this article describes steps taken to test a measure. Methods: Validity and reliability testing of psychometric scales was conducted.


Sample consisted of 344 women. Using principal component analysis resulted in 4 components: Exam-Related Factors, Benefits, Vulnerability, and Risks and Barriers. Revised scale included 28 items explaining 46% variance, with good internal consistency (α = .84). Women who did not routinely screen exhibited significantly more negativity.


The measure demonstrates validity and reliability across different groups of women and can be used to inform the design of individualized interventions to promote repeat screening.

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