Knowledge, Attitude and Response to Cervical Cancer Screening among Market Women in Ile-Ife
This study was conducted to assess the baseline knowledge of market women about cervical cancer, design and implement a health education intervention programme on the basis of baseline findings and thereafter examine the impact of the intervention on respondents' knowledge. The study employed an intervention design with a need to improving uptake of cervical cancer screening in the study population. A total of 840 women were surveyed at baseline and at post-intervention phases in three selected intervention markets in Ile-Ife. Strategies implemented in the intervention phases included open market campaigns, drama, musical entertainment, pamphlets distribution and television programmes. Baseline and follow-up data from independent cross-sectional samples in both pre and post-intervention phases were used to evaluate the effect of the intervention programmes after a period of five months. Data were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistical methods of analysis (Chi-square). Statistical significance was accepted at 5% level. The results showed that awareness level about cervical cancer increased from 12.5% at baseline to 29.5% (x2 = 42.979, P<0.05), with the main source of information being market campaigns. However, in spite of the tremendous increase in awareness about Pap's smear screening from 5.7 to 90.5% (x2=589.4, P<0.05), no improvement was noticed in their screening practice, which only increased from 1 to 2.4%. The main reason given for non participation in the screening programme was "lack of time" (71.5%), non-awareness (9.5%), good health (4.5% not interested (4.3%), not taken serious (3.8%), no reason (3.1 %), was away (2.9%), fear (0.2%) and cost (0.2%). The study concluded that although intervention increased the awareness level of cervical cancer significantly among the study population, screening practice remained poor.