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Saudi women health beliefs and associated factors regarding cervical cancer prevention at Najran city: A theory-based study

Heba A. Ibrahim
Mohammed H. Nahari
DaifAllah D. Al- Thubaity
Mohammed A. Alshahrani
Wafaa T. Elgzar
Hanan A. El Sayed
Samiha H. Sayed


According to Saudi Arabia's 2030 vision, research should be directed to promote health and prevent diseases like cervical cancer (CC). Furthermore,  the Kingdom pays specific attention to the health of women. CC ranks eighth among all cancers in Saudi Arabia; therefore, determining women's  beliefs and associated factors will help prevent and treat them early. The objective of this study was to explore Saudi women's health beliefs and  associated factors regarding CC prevention in Najran city. A cross-sectional design was carried out using a convenience sampling technique of 1085  participants from the Najran region. Data collection was done from June to September 2021, using tools consisting of basic data and  personal/family history of the study participants and the health belief model (HBM) scale for CC. The findings revealed that up to 99% of the  participants did not take the HPV vaccine, while only 2% undertook the Pap smear test. Less than one-fifth (17.9%) of the participants believed they  were highly susceptible to developing CC, although more than two-thirds (70.4%) of them believed CC is a serious disease. Only one-tenth (9.8%) of  the participants had low perceived barriers to undergoing a Pap smear test, even though a large proportion (85.3%) of them highly perceived its  benefits and were motivated to uptake CC prevention. Rural area residence, low education, insufficient monthly income, and young age were  negatively associated factors with CC prevention and health beliefs (p< 0.05). Participants with a family history of CC or who previously performed  Pap smear test had a higher health motivation and perceived benefits of CC screening and prevention (p< 0.05). The study concluded that most  Saudi women did not undertake Pap smear tests or HPV vaccine, although average scores of the sub-dimensions of the HBM scale about CC were  moderate or high except for perceived susceptibility to CC. Therefore, national educational programs for Saudi women should be directed to  increase their perceived susceptibility to CC and decrease the perceived barriers to Pap smear test. In addition, the ministry of health's educational  efforts should be directed to rural areas' residents with low education, insufficient monthly income, and young age women. 

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eISSN: 1118-4841