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Barriers to utilization of cervical cancer screening services among women of reproductive age in Ondo, southwest Nigeria

M.A. Titiloye
Y.T. Womitenren
O.S. Arulogun


Cervical cancer (CC) is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer among women of reproductive age group; yet screening for early detection of the disease among  them is not a common practice in Nigeria. This study therefore, investigated the  barriers to utilization of cervical cancer screening service among women of  reproductive age in Ondo town, Ondo State. A descriptive cross-sectional survey  was adopted using a four-stage sampling technique to select 244 consenting women of reproductive age in Ondo town. A validated interviewer administered  questionnaire was used to solicit information on CC-related knowledge and  perception, utilization and barriers to utilization of the screening services. Data were  analyzed using descriptive statistics and Chi-square test at p<0.05.  Respondents’ mean age was 30±6.8 years, 70.9% were married and 58.2% had  tertiary education. Majority (73.8%) had heard about CC and 67.8% correctly  defined CC. Mean knowledge score was 17.1±5.3. Respondents with poor, fair and good knowledge of CC were 11.1%, 53.3%, and 35.6% respectively. Positive  perception towards CC was reported by 42.6% of respondents. Only (15.6%) of the respondents have done screening for CC and the decision to do the screening was personal in 78.6% of the respondents. Main barriers hindering the utilization of CC screening services were: fear of the result (65.1%), negative attitudes of health  worker (51.3%) and husband’s influence on decision (51.0%). CC knowledge of  respondents was not significantly associated with utilization of cervical screening  service (X2 =3.117 P>0.05). Low utilization of the screening services based on  perceived misconception was noticed among study participants. Health promotion strategies that will target women and their spouse are therefore recommended. Health workers should help change perception of non-susceptibility of the women

Keywords: Cervical cancer, knowledge, perception, barriers to utilization of the screening service

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eISSN: 1119-5096
print ISSN: 1119-5096