Perceptions of risk and barriers to cervical cancer screening at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH), Eldoret, Kenya

  • E Were
  • Z Nyaberi
  • N Buziba
Keywords: Barriers, cervical cancer screening, Kenya


Background: Affordable screening cervical cancer methods using visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) and with Lugol’s iodine (VILI) are being developed. Scaling up of screening services requires an understanding of the user perceptions about screening.
Objectives: Determine the perceptions of risk and barriers to previous cervical cancer screening by women attending MCHFP clinic of MTRH, Eldoret, Kenya.
Methods: Cross-sectional questionnaire survey involving a consecutive sample of 219 consenting non-pregnant women about perceptions on cervical cancer risk, barriers to screening and previous screening.
Results: Of 219 women interviewed, 12.3% of participants had screened before. Women of over 30 years were more likely to have screened before (p=0.012). While 22.8% felt that they were at risk of the cervical cancer, 65% of all participants, nevertheless, wished to be screened. Perception of being at risk was significantly associated with a felt need for screening
(p=0.002), an association that persisted only for women reporting multiple lifetime sex partners (p=0.005). Fear of abnormal results and lack of finances were the commonest barriers to screening reported by 22.4% and 11.4% of respondents, respectively.
Conclusions: Previous screening was uncommon. Cheaper screening methods are needed. Messages about screening should clarify the meaning and consequences of possible results.

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eISSN: 1680-6905