Knowledge and practice of cervical cancer screening at the Imo State University Teaching Hospital, Orlu
Aims: This study investigates the knowledge and practice of cervical cancer screening in randomly selected women attending various clinics in the Imo State University Teaching Hospital, Orlu as well as the determinants of take-up of cervical cytology screening. Methods: The subjects were 450 randomly selected women attending various clinics at the Imo State University Teaching Hospital Orlu, from May 1, 2005 to April 30, 2006. A pre-tested semi-structured self- administered questionnaire was used. This included questions on the socio-demographic characteristics of the patients as well as questions regarding their knowledge of cervical cancer and its prevention and their degree of utilization of Pap smear. Results: The mean age of the 450 respondents was 31.6 + 5.8 years. Singles constituted 26.1% while 73.9% were married. Those who were aware of cervical cancer were 13.6% as against 6% who were aware of Pap smear. Only 2.4% of the 450 respondents had ever had a cervical cytology performed on them. The most frequent reason given for not using the service was lack of physician referral. Culture was found to negatively impact on the take up of cervical cytology. Majority of the respondents would prefer a male doctor to perform a Pap smear on them if they were to have one. Conclusion: The study shows that there is poor awareness and knowledge of both cervical cancer and its prevention in our environment. The uptake of cervical cancer screening is also very poor. There is therefore the need to establish an organized cervical cancer screening in different parts of the country, but in the interim health care providers should improve on opportunistic screening. In our socio cultural settings, sexually active women, the community and the men folk should form the target of any awareness/enlightenment campaigns about cervical cancer, and should be actively involved in the planning and execution of any screening programmes.
Keywords: Cervical cancer, Screening, Knowledge, Practice, Orlu
PHMJ Vol. 2 (2) 2008: pp. 145-151
Manuscripts published do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Editorial Board but that of the author(s).