Ghana Medical Journal

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Perspectives and practices of cancer screening among workers at a tertiary health facility in Nigeria: indications for adaptation and integration of best practices

Godson U Eze, Irikefe P. Obiebi


Objectives: This study identified correlates of good screening performance for three common cancers, while weighing them against the backdrop of existing knowledge, to enable policy makers and healthcare providers focus appropriately to close the gaps that exist in cancer screening in our locale.

Study design: Cross-sectional design

Setting: Tertiary health facility

Participants: Workers at Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria

Results: Females had significantly better knowledge of cervical cancer, p<0.001; their knowledge of the other two cancers studied did not differ significantly from that of males. Staff members with less than 2 years of service, consistently had significantly better knowledge of all 3 cancers than others, p<0.05. Staff with good knowledge of all 3
cancers also decreased significantly with increasing number of years since graduation, p<0.001. Workers in clinical departments generally had better attitude towards screening for all 3 cancers compared to their counterparts in the non-clinical departments, p<0.001. Tertiary education, being in a clinical department, and Christianity were associated
with a better attitude and practice of screening. The practice of screening was generally poor, as 54.9% and 89% of females had never screened for breast cancer and cervical cancer respectively; while almost all (93.5%) males 40 years and over had never screened for prostate cancer.

Conclusion: Overall, knowledge of cancer screening was fair for all cancers; attitude to screening was good towards all cancers. However, significant gaps in compliance with screening were identified for all cancers. Setting up screening facilities and programmes in the work place could help to close these gaps.

Keywords: Cancer; screening; perspectives; practices; health workers

Funding: None declared

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