Perceived Susceptibility, and Cervical Cancer Screening Benefits and Barriers in Malaysian Women Visiting Outpatient Clinics

  • Baskaran, Pryma (Department of Nursing Sience, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya) ;
  • Subramanian, Pathmawathi (Department of Nursing Sience, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya) ;
  • Rahman, Rasnah Abdul (Department of Nursing Sience, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya) ;
  • Ping, Wong Li (Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya) ;
  • Taib, Nur Aishah Mohd (Department of Surgery, University of Malaya) ;
  • Rosli, Roshaslina (Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya)
  • Published : 2013.12.31


Aims: A main reason for increasing incidence of cervical cancer worldwide is the lack of regular cervical cancer screening. Coverage and uptake remain major challenges and it is crucial to determine the perceived susceptibility to cervical cancer, as well as the benefits of, and barriers to, cervical cancer screening among women. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 369 women attending an outpatient centre in Malaysia and data were collected by administering a self-report questionnaire. Results: The majority of the participants (265, 71.8%) showed good level of perception of their susceptibility to cervical cancer. Almost all responded positively to four statements about the perceived benefits of cervical cancer screening (agree, 23.1% or strongly agree, 52.5%), whereas negative responses were received from most of the participants (agree, 29.9%or strongly agree, 14.6 %) about the eleven statements on perceived barriers. Significant associations were observed between age and perceived susceptibility($x^2$=9.030, p=0.029); between employment status (p<0.001) as well as ethnicity and perceived benefits (p<0.05 [P=0.003]); and between education and perceived barriers to cervical cancer screening (p<0.001). Conclusions: Perceived susceptibility, including knowledge levels and personal risk assessment, should be emphasized through education and awareness campaigns to improve uptake of cervical cancer screening in Malaysia.


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