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Cervical cancer screening among certified nurses in Enugu: Knowledge, attitude and uptake of Pap smear test

KC Nwankwo
UC Aniebue
KK Agwuna


Cervical cancer is to a large extent preventable by effective screening. The effectiveness of such screening depends on the knowledge and attitude of the women.
Objectives: To ascertain the knowledge of the certified nurses in a teaching hospital in Nigeria to cervical cancer, their attitude to cervical cancer screening and factors hindering their uptake of available screening services (pap smear test).
Methods: Structured questionnaires were self administered to the consenting certified nurses working at University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Enugu, in South Eastern Nigeria.
Results: Showed that 92.2% of the nurses were aware of cervical cancer screening. Fifty three percent of the respondents attributed the cause of cancer of the cervix to sexually transmitted infection and 2.2% of them identified human papilloma virus as a factor. Only 28 (12.2%) of the respondents have ever done pap smear test. The commonest reason given by the nurses who had never been screened was that they did not have any complaint and hence not at risk of having cervical cancer. Years of practice has a significant influence on the knowledge of cervical screening and screening procedures.
Conclusion: The nurses have good knowledge of cervical cancer screening but very low uptake of Pap smear test. There is a great need for continuous education of the nurses on the need to change attitude
that will ensure improved uptake of cervical cancer screening (Pap smear test).

Key Words: Cervical cancer, screening, knowledge, Pap smear, certified nurses.

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eISSN: 1118-2601