No prevalence studies on cancer screening adherence among Deaf women have been conducted in the past decade. Current data on breast and cervical cancer screening are needed from Deaf women who adhered or did not adhere to the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force screening guidelines. The objectives of this study were to assess whether disparities for cancer screening adherence persist for Deaf women compared with the general population and whether racial and ethnic disparities for adherence exist among Deaf women.


Data for adherence to Pap (n=529, Deaf women; n=1,119, hearing women) and mammogram screening (n=324, Deaf women; n=1,086, hearing women) were drawn from the Health Information National Trends Survey in American Sign Language (Deaf women; February–August 2017 and October 2017–May 2018) and the Health Information National Trends Survey 5, Cycle 1, data set (hearing women; January–May 2017). Data were analyzed in 2018. Propensity score model of the weighed samples estimated the probability of adherence among the entire sample and within the sample of Deaf women for each screening test.


About 78% (n=415) of age-eligible Deaf women and 85% (n=956) of age-eligible hearing women adhered to Pap screening recommendations (p<0.001). For breast cancer screening, the adherence rates for 245 Deaf women and 891 hearing women were 76% and 82%, respectively (p<0.01). After adjusting for correlates, for Deaf women, disparities remained for cervical cancer screening but not breast cancer screening. Race and ethnicity were not associated with cancer screening adherence.


This is a call to action for targeted, accessible health promotion interventions for age-eligible Deaf women to increase adherence to cervical cancer screening.

  • Author(s):
    Kushalnagar, P., Engelman, A., & Simons, A
  • Published:
  • Journal:
    American Journal of Preventive Medicine
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • DOI:
  • View Article


Kushalnagar, P., Engelman, A., & Simons, A. N. (2019). Deaf Women's Health: Adherence to Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Recommendations. American journal of preventive medicine, 57(3), 346–354.