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Knowledge about Cervical Cancer Risk Factors and Pap Smear Testing Behavior among Female Primary Health Care Workers: A Study from South Turkey

  • Coskun, Savas (Family Health Center Number 11) ;
  • Can, Huseyin (Department of Family Medicine, Ataturk Education and Research Hospital, Katip celebi University) ;
  • Turan, Sercan (Department of Family Medicine, Ataturk Education and Research Hospital, Katip celebi University)
  • Published : 2013.11.30

Abstract

Background: Cervical cancer is one of the ten most frequent cancers in Turkey. We here examined knowledge about cervical cancer in relation to Papanicolaou (Pap) testing among female primary health care workers in Hatay, a city is located in the south of Turkey. Materials and Methods: The study was completed on 261 women healthcare workers who were or had been sexually active and who accepted to participate to the study. The participants gave verbal informed consent and thereafter questionnaires prepared by the investigators were administered by personal interview. Results: Only 30.3% (n=79) of the participants regularly had a gynecologic examination. While 87.4% (n=228) of the participants reported that they had already heard about the Pap smear test, only 45.2% (n=118) had undergone this test. It was determined that had undergone an average of $1.66{\pm}0.89$ times (1-4) within the last five years. Some 56.0% (n=117) of the participants were well informed about the Pap smear test (p<0,001) and 81.1% (n=63) of the participants who regularly had gynecological examinations (p<0,001) had this test. Conclusions: For the early diagnosis of the cervical cancer, regularly having a Pap smear test is crucial. Healthcare workers should also demonstrate sensitivity about this issue. We think that the importance of the issue should be re-highlighted by organizing in-service training for female primary healthcare workers. Studies are warranted to determine the psychosociological factors that cause individuals to not have the test.

Keywords

Cervical cancer;risk factors;Pap smear test;public health workers;Turkey

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