Perception of risk factors and utilization of breast and cervical screening services among female university students in Osun State.
The study assessed level of awareness and knowledge of breast and cervical cancers and the screening services and opinion on risk factors associated with the cancers among female university students. It also determined the level of utilization and factors influencing utilization of screening services for breast and cervical cancers among female university students. These were with the view of providing information that may be useful in improving screening services among this group. The study was a cross sectional descriptive survey carried out among female university students residing in halls of residence in Obafemi Awolowo University and Oduduwa University in Osun State. Four hundred and twenty two respondents were selected from the two universities using the multistage sampling technique. Data was collected for a period of 7 weeks, information on socio demographic characteristics of respondents, awareness and knowledge of breast and cervical cancers and its screening methods, opinion on risk factors and utilization of screening services were collected using pre-tested self- administered structured questionnaire. The questionnaire was analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20.0 software. Data analysis was carried out in three stages; univariate analysis was used to determine the proportions and summary statistics. Bivariate analysis was used to assess relationship between some selected factors and utilization of breast and cervical cancers screening services using chi square test. Multivariate analysis was used to identify factors that influence utilization of breast and cervical cancers screening services among respondents.The level of significance was determined at p value less than 0.05 The study showed that 90% of the respondents have heard of breast cancer, 10% are aware of breast cancer screening services. Of the 90% that have heard of breast cancer, 42% had poor knowledge, 39% had fair knowledge and 19% had good knowledge of breast cancer. Eighty nine percent of the respondents had utilized breast cancer screening services, of which 71.9% conducted self-breast examination and 4.3% had mammography done. Thirty percent of the respondents have heard of cervical cancer and 26.0% of the respondents are aware of cervical cancer screening services. Twenty two percent of the respondents utilized cervical cancer screening services of which 9.4% had visual inspection with acetic acid and 7.5% had Pap smear test done. It was observed that level of study and religion of respondents are factors associated with utilization of breast cancer screening services while, life style (sexual activity and smoking) and family history of cervical cancer are associated with utilization of cervical screening services. It was concluded that knowledge on breast cancer and awareness of cervical cancer screening services was poor. Self-Breast Examination (SBE) was the most adopted breast cancer screening services and utilization of cervical cancer screening services was poor.