Year of Publication



Public Health

Date Available


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Dr. Richard Ingram

Committee Member

Dr. Joseph Benitez

Committee Member

Dr. Jennifer Knight


Background: This study focuses on cervical cancer screening rates (e.g., Pap testing) among women of urban/rural status in Kentucky. Specifically, this study’s primary objective is to examine the association between cervical cancer screening rates and health care access among the women of interest. Secondarily, this study aims to identify which socio-demographic variables impact cervical cancer screening rates and health care access. The purpose of doing so is to better understand what disparities and barriers might be contributing to the suboptimal screening rates observed throughout Kentucky.

Methods: An empirical analysis utilizing secondary data from the 2020 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) was conducted for this study. Data were collected from January 2020 to December 2020. 1,623 female respondents were of interest and kept for the analysis. Variables of interest all fell within three categories: (1) socio-demographics, (2) health care access, and (3) cervical cancer screenings. Descriptive statistics, chi-square testing, and a correlation matrix were conducted to determine if there were associations between the variables of interest.

Results: This study suggests urban-rural disparities in socio-demographics, cervical cancer screenings, and some health care access variables. Rural women were the ones to experience these disparities instead of their urban counterparts. Chi-square testing suggested significant relationships between urban/rural status and four socio-demographic variables of interest at an alpha of ≤0.05. Additionally, the correlation matrix suggested several significant relationships between the variables of interest at an alpha of ≤0.05.

Implications/Conclusion: This study suggests that there may be an association between cervical cancer screening rates and specific health care access and socio-demographic variables. Future efforts should focus on devising and improving policy and educational endeavors aimed at increasing cervical cancer and cervical cancer screening knowledge and access to screenings among the intended target populations throughout Kentucky.

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