Paper Title: Knowledge, attitude, and practice of cervical cancer screening among women visiting the reproductive health clinics of a tertiary hospital in South-South Nigeria
Authors: Douglas K.E., Eneh C., Obua V., Unachukwu C.
BACKGROUND: Cervical cancer, a major public health problem is both preventable and to large extent curable. The incidence of cervical cancer differs considerably between developing and developed countries largely due to increased awareness among women in developed climes. This study was aimed to determine the knowledge, attitude and practice of cervical cancer screening among women attending the clinics of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Sequel to ethical approval, this descriptive cross sectional study evaluated the knowledge, attitude and practice of 118 respondents (selected by balloting) attending the reproductive health clinics of this tertiary hospital. A structured self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data which were analyzed with descriptive statistical tool. Results: There was 65.7% awareness of the existence of cervical cancer screening among respondents who were largely tertiary level educated (72.9%). Most (48.1%) respondents had early coitarche and multiple sex partners which are risk factors for cervical cancer. Most respondents (83.4%) felt they were not at risk and 88.4% had never had a Pap smear. The reasons for not having the Pap smear included ignorance, perceived cost, fear and non-requisition from doctors. CONCLUSION: Awareness of cervical cancer screening was high among respondents in this study but this did not match the very low attitude and practice among this group. There is the need for early and more aggressive health education among women about cervical cancer screening.