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Knowledge about cervical cancer screening and its practice among female health care workers in southern Ethiopia: a cross-sectional study

Authors Dulla D, Daka D, Wakgari N

Received 11 January 2017

Accepted for publication 29 April 2017

Published 22 May 2017 Volume 2017:9 Pages 365—372

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJWH.S132202

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Elie Al-Chaer


Dubale Dulla,1 Deresse Daka,2 Negash Wakgari1

1School of Nursing and Midwifery, 2Department of Medical Science, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Hawassa University, Hawassa, Ethiopia

Background: Cervical cancer remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality among the women in the world. Early screening for cervical cancer is a key intervention in reduction of maternal deaths. Health care workers have a significant contribution to improve cervical cancer screening practice among women. Hence, this study aimed to assess the knowledge and practice of cervical cancer screening among female health care workers in southern Ethiopia.
Methods: Institution-based cross-sectional study was conducted during March and April, 2015. All hospitals in Hawassa city administration and Sidama zone were purposively selected. A simple random sampling technique was used to draw the health centers. After proportional allocations to their respective health facilities, a total of 367 female health workers were selected by simple random sampling technique. A structured and pretested questionnaire was used to collect the data. Data were entered to SPSS version 20.0 for further analysis. Logistic regression analyses were used to see the association of different variables.
Results: Out of the total respondents, 319 (86.9%) had a good level of knowledge on cervical cancer. Similarly, a majority of them, 329 (89.6%), 321 (87.5%), and 295 (80.4%), knew about the risk factors, symptoms, and outcomes of cervical cancer, respectively. More than two thirds of the respondents, 283 (77.1%), knew that there is a procedure used to detect premalignant cervical lesions and 138 (37.6%) of them mentioned visual inspection with acetic acid as a screening method. In this study, only 42 (11.4%) of the respondents were screened for cervical cancer (confidence interval [CI]: 8.7, 13.9). Being a physician (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] =0.12, 95% CI: 0.02, 0.79) and working in a cervical cancer screening center (AOR =0.14, 95% CI: 0.03, 0.68) had a lower odds of cervical cancer screening practices.
Conclusions: Significant numbers of health care workers were knowledgeable on cervical cancer. Cervical cancer screening among health care workers in southern Ethiopia was found to be low. Being a physician and working in a screening center had lower odds of cervical cancer screening practice. In spite of having adequate knowledge on cervical cancer the reasons for low practice of cervical cancer screening among health care workers needs to be investigated.

Keywords: cervical cancer, health care workers, southern Ethiopia

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