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Cervical Cancer Screening: Knowledge, Attitude and Practices among Nursing Staff in a Tertiary Level Teaching Institution of Rural India

  • Shekhar, Shashank (Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, AIIMS Jodhpur) ;
  • Sharma, Chanderdeep (Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr RPGMC Tanda) ;
  • Thakur, Sita (Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr RPGMC Tanda) ;
  • Raina, Nidhi (Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr RPGMC Tanda)
  • Published : 2013.06.30

Abstract

Background: Assessment of the nursing staff knowledge, attitude and practices about cervical cancer screening in a tertiary care teaching institute of rural India. Materials and Methods: A cross sectional, descriptive, interview-based survey was conducted with a pretested questionnaire among 262 staff nurses of a tertiary care teaching and research institute. Results: In this study 77% respondents knew that Pap smear is used for detection of cervical cancer, but less than half knew that Pap smear can detect even precancerous lesions of cervix. Only 23.4% knew human papilloma virus infection as a risk factor. Only 26.7% of the respondents were judged as having adequate knowledge based on scores allotted for questions evaluating knowledge about cervical cancer and screening. Only 17 (7%) of the staff nurses had themselves been screened by Pap smear, while 85% had never taken a Pap smear of a patient. Adequate knowledge of cervical cancer and screening, higher parity and age >30 years were significantly associated with self screening for cervical cancer. Most nurese held a view that Pap test is a doctor procedure, and nearly 90% of nurses had never referred a patient for Pap testing. Conclusions: The majority of nursing staff in rural India may have inadequate knowledge about cervical cancer screening, and their attitude and practices towards cervical cancer screening could not be termed positive.

Keywords

Pap smear;cervical cancer;cancer screening programme;screening attitudes;nursing staff

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