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Cervical Cancer Screening by Female Workers in South East Nigeria

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Abstract:

Cervical cancer is one of the commonest female cancers especially in developing countries. Efforts towards its prevention worldwide have focused on screening women at risk of disease using Pap smears and treating pre-cancerous lesions. A good knowledge and understanding of the level of practice of cervical cancer screening among female workers in south east Nigeria will help in creating population-specific healthcare programs and interventions aimed at improving women’s health. OBJECTIVES: To determine the perception and practice of cervical cancer screening among female workers in south east Nigeria as well as ascertain the influence of age, educational status and marital status on the practice of cervical cancer screening among this group. METHOD: A cross-sectional descriptive study carried out among female workers in Nnewi who were selected using multi-stage approach between December 2007 and January 2008. Tests of statistical significance were done using chi square test at 95% confidence interval. RESULTS A total of 172 females responded. The mean age was 29.7 ± 8.8 years and the ages ranged from 15 to 65 years. One hundred and twenty-three respondents (71.5%) knew about cervical cancer screening. Only 12 (9.8%) of the respondents who were aware of Pap smear had done the test, of which 9 (75.0%) had disease detected. There was no statistically significant association between educational level, age andmarital status respectively and the practice of cervical cancer screening. CONCLUSION: There is avery lowlevel of practice of cervical cancer screening in this group. Educational level, age and marital status were found not to affect the practice of cervical cancer screening. Key Words: Cervical cancer, workers, practice, Nigeria

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