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


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.


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