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Graduate Defense: Delmy Flores

March 6 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Thesis Defense

Thesis Information

Title: Health Literacy And Cervical Cancer Prevention Behaviors Among Hispanic Women In Idaho

Program: Master of Public Health

Advisor: Dr. Ellen Schafer, Public and Population Health

Committee Members: Dr. Bozena Morawski, Public and Population Health and Dr. Vinita Sharma, Public and Population Health


The purpose of this study was to explore relationships between health literacy, culture, accessibility and utilization of health care services, patient/provider communication, and “self-care” factors that influence cervical cancer prevention behaviors (i.e., HPV vaccination and screening) among Hispanic women between 40-65 years old living in Idaho. These factors were explored in relation to how participants obtained, processed, and understood information about cervical cancer and its prevention. Understanding these factors and potential relationships to health literacy is pivotal for tailoring effective communication strategies and interventions within this specific demographic. Fifteen Hispanic women, between 40-65 years old and living in Idaho, were recruited to participate in a semi-structured qualitative interview. All interviews were conducted in Spanish via telephone, Zoom, or in-person. Findings include the description of three themes: (1) I do it but I don’t know why, (2) Internet or bilingual providers over interpreters, and (3) Reminders are important. Insights from this study highlight critical areas for targeted education and interventions to enhance understanding and foster trust among this demographic. By exploring health literacy and preventive behaviors related to cervical cancer, I revealed a notable lack of knowledge concerning cervical cancer, its significance, and the relationship between interpreters, health care providers, and participants that needs further exploration.