Awareness and uptake of the Pap smear among market women in Lagos, Nigeria

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Kikelomo O. Wright *
Babalola Faseru
Yetunde A. Kuyinu
Francis A. Faduyile
(*) Corresponding Author:
Kikelomo O. Wright | loladewright@yahoo.com

Abstract

Our study evaluates the effect of an educational programme on awareness and uptake of the cervical cancer screening test (Pap smear) by women in a model market in Lagos Nigeria. This was a quasi-experimental study using a multistage sampling technique. A total of 350 women were divided into two groups. A baseline survey on awareness of the Pap test and screening practices was carried out using pre-tested, interviewer administered, structured questionnaires. Participants in the intervention group received sessions of community based health information on cervical cancer screening tests while participants in the control group received health information on hypertension. Subsequently, participants in both groups were reassessed to evaluate the effect of the educational programme on the Pap test and cervical screening uptake. Data were analysed with the Epi-info version 6.04. Awareness about the Pap test was low at baseline; only 6.9% and 12.0% of participants in the intervention and control groups, respectively, had heard of Pap smears. Furthermore, less than 10% had correct information on the use of the Pap test. Post-intervention, there was a significant and proportional increase in the knowledge of the Pap test in the intervention group (p<0.05). However, uptake of the test was quite low in the intervention and control groups both pre- and post-intervention and there was no significant change in uptake. We concluded that essential schemes are required to enhance access to screening, as knowledge alone is insufficient to promote acceptance and use of cervical cytological screening tests.

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