Knowledge and attitude towards cervical cancer screening among female students and staff in a tertiary institution in the Niger Delta
Keywords: Knowledge, attitude, barriers, cervical cancer, screening, Niger Delta.
AbstractBackground: Cervical cancer is a largely preventable disease. In western countries, the incidence of and mortality associated with cervical cancer has reduced substantially following the introduction of effective cervical screening programmes. This is in contrast to what is obtained in Africa including Nigeria where cervical screening is rudimentary or non- existent. Aim: This study seeks to assess the knowledge, level of perception and the attitude of female staff and students of Niger Delta University, Nigeria, towards cervical cancer screening. Methods: A questionnaire was used for data collection. The questions were made to capture the objectives of the study. Results: Most of the respondents 278 (72%) were aware of cervical cancer, while only 182 (50.6%) were aware of cervical cancer screening. Pap smear was the most popular screening test mentioned by respondents 100 (41.2%), while some respondents (8.5% of staff and 16.3% of students) wrongly believed that blood test is used for cervical cancer screening. There is a significant association between awareness and practice of cervical cancer screening amongst staff and students (X2 = 29.4, P=0.00). Conclusion: The study shows that awareness of cervical cancer screening was higher amongst students than staff of Niger Delta University. Uptake was low in both staff and students. There was an association between awareness and practice of cervical cancer screening amongst respondents. Overall, a greater proportion of the staff respondents had little or no knowledge of cervical cancer screening. Keywords: Knowledge, attitude, barriers, cervical cancer, screening, Niger Delta.
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