Cervical cancer screening among University students in South Africa : a theory based study
Hoque, Muhammad Ehsanu
Hal, Guido Van
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Introduction: Cervical cancer is a serious public health problem in South Africa. Even though the screening is free in health facilities in South Africa, the Pap smear uptake is very low. The objective of the study is to investigate the knowledge and beliefs of female university students in South Africa. Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted among university women in South Africa to elicit information about knowledge and beliefs, and screening history. Results: A total of 440 students completed the questionnaire. The average age of the participants was 20.39 years (SD = 1.71 years). Regarding cervical cancer, 55.2% (n = 243) had ever heard about it. Results indicated that only 15% (22/147) of the students who had ever had sex and had heard about cervical cancer had taken a Pap test. Pearson correlation analysis showed that cervical cancer knowledge had a significantly negative relationship with barriers to cervical cancer screening. Susceptibility and seriousness score were significantly moderately correlated with benefit and motivation score as well as barrier score. Self-efficacy score also had a moderate correlation with benefit and motivation score. Students who had had a Pap test showed a significantly lower score in barriers to being screened compared to students who had not had a Pap test. Conclusion: This study showed that educated women in South Africa lack complete information on cervical cancer. Students who had had a Pap test had significantly lower barriers to cervical cancer screening than those students who had not had a Pap test.
Hoque, M.E.; Ghuman, S.; Coopoosmay, R. and Van Hal, G. 2014. Cervical Cancer Screening among University Students in South Africa: A Theory Based Study. PLoS ONE 9(11): e111557. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0111557