Beliefs and Attitude of Women Regarding Cervical Cancer Prevention and Screening in a Rural Community of Kerala
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Worldwide cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women. If detected at an early stage cervical cancer can be cured very easily. Cervical cancer mortality and morbidity is very high in developing countries like India as no organized screening progrmmes are existing for the women for early detection and treatment of cancer cervix.
Aim of the Study
Aim of the present study was to collect information regarding beliefs and attitude regarding cervical cancer screening to provide a base for future interventional studies.
Materials and methods
A cross sectional study was conducted among 100 women in a rural community of Idukki district, Kerala. Non probability Purposive sampling technique was adopted for the study. Tools used for data collection were demographic data sheet to collect sociodemographic data and five point likert scale for assessing attitude regarding cervical cancer. Content validity and reliability of the tool was established prior to data collection. Ethical clearance was obtained from institutional research and ethics committee and informed consent was taken from each participant at the point of data collection.
Mean age of the participants was 40 (SD-9.77, Range -24-55) years and majority were housewives and belonged to Hindu religion. Mean age at the time of marriage was 21 years and mean at the time of childbirth was 22 years. Most of the women who participated in the study had only primary education. Mean attitude score of participants regarding prevention and screening of cervical cancer was 67±16.75. Majority of the participants (61%) had negative attitude, 34% had positive attitude and 6% had neutral attitude regarding prevention and screening of cervical cancer.
Community based intervention programmes should be implemented to improve the attitude and uptake of women regarding cervical cancer. Especially culturally specific educational programmes should be developed to educate rural women regarding cervical cancer prevention and screening.
Beliefs, attitude, cervical cancer, screening, prevention.