Awareness of carcinoma cervix in nursing personnel of a tertiary care institute, Mumbai, India
Keywords:Cervical cancer, Knowledge, Nursing staff, Pap test, Screening
Background: Carcinoma cervix is the second most common cancer of women all over the world and commonest cancer among Indian women. Awareness about cervical cancer and its prevention low amongst Indian women. The Pap test is a simple cost-effective technique for screening to help early diagnosis of cervical cancer. Nursing staff should be made aware of cervical cancer, so that they can spread the knowledge to the general public. Objectives of present study were to assess the knowledge level regarding symptoms, risk factors, prevention and screening of cervical carcinoma among nursing staff and to find out the behaviour of respondents regarding prevention and screening of cervical carcinoma
Methods: A cross-sectional interview-based survey regarding knowledge of cervical carcinoma was conducted among the nursing staff of a tertiary care institutes of Mumbai.A structured questionnaire with multiple choices was used as a tool for data collection. Provision for open-ended responses was also made in the questionnaire. 100 nurses participated in the current study. Data was entered in Microsoft Excel. SPSS statistical software was used to generate statistical parameters like proportion, mean, standard deviation, etc. The test of significance used was the Z test and a P value of <0.05 was considered as the level of significance.
Results: We lack an organized opportunistic screening program for cervical cancer in India. Data indicates a slow, but steady, decline in the incidence of cervical cancer. However, the rates are still too high, particularly in the rural areas. It is extremely essential to screen eligible women when they come to health units for other services. Studies have shown it is possible to train nurses to screen for cervical cancer. Attitudes that screening is to be done by doctors or gynaecologists only needs to change. The survey revealed that the hospital played a limited role as a source of information on Pap smear. This calls for a re-orientation of nurses, paramedicals and health workers and a need for introduction of simpler cervical cancer screening methods such as visual inspections that are more sustainable
Conclusions: Awareness about cervical cancer has to be improved. Education of the nursing personel will strongly contribute to strengthen cervical cancer screening programs. Nursing staff can and should educate the masses to help increase health awareness in women.
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