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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 326-332

The effect of health education on the knowledge, attitude, and uptake of free Pap smear among female teachers in Birnin-Kebbi, North-Western Nigeria

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Federal Medical Center, Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Health and Primary Care, College of Medicine of the University of Lagos, Nigeria
3 Department of Community Health, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
A N Adamu
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Federal Medical Center, Birnin-Kebbi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1119-3077.100632

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Introduction: The Routine Pap smear test has successfully reduced the incidence of invasive cervical cancer in the presence of a proper structure for its implementation. This study was designed to assess the effect of health education on the knowledge, attitude, and uptake of Pap smear among female teachers. Materials and Methods: It was a quasi-experimental, controlled study with a pre-test, post-test design. A total of 100 respondents were recruited for each of the intervention and control groups, by the multistage sampling technique. Results: The mean knowledge score of cervical cancer was low in both the interventions (25.5% ± 10.5) and control groups (18.9% ± 10.0) at baseline; a significant rise to 57.2% ± 20.7 was recorded after the intervention in the Intervention group (P<0.0001). The baseline mean attitude score was also low in the intervention and control groups (17.1% ± 6.3 and 14.1% ± 6.4, respectively); post intervention there was a significant rise of up to 28.0% ± 12.8 in the Intervention group (P<0.0001). The proportion of respondents with a reported practice of Pap smear was low and similar in both the groups at baseline (1.1 and 4.9% in the intervention and control groups, respectively, P=0.16). Uptake of free Pap smear was poor at the post-intervention phase in both the groups (P=0.45). Reported reasons for poor uptake included the respondents' dislike for the test (38.4%) and the belief that the test was not necessary (24.4%). About 20% of the respondents did not have any reason at all. Conclusion: Health education had no significant effect on the uptake of a free Pap smear among teachers. Despite the significant improvement in the attitude toward the test, many respondents did not like the test after than before the intervention. Sociocultural issues such as the gender of the sample collector, and system factors like few service delivery points, and the time required to access the service could have contributed to the poor uptake recorded in this study. A program designed to improve routine cervical cancer screening by Pap smear should therefore address not only the knowledge and cost, but also the sociocultural and systemic factors.

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