Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices about the Pap Smear among Medical Workers in Naresuan University Hospital


Background: Cervical cancer, very common in females of the developing world, has a long premalignantperiod. Primary and secondary prevention can reduce the incidence. The Pap smear is the main screening modalityin Thailand but the coverage is rather poor.
Objective: This study was performed to evaluate the knowledge,attitudes and practices of medical workers in Naresuan university hospital who met the WHO guidelines forscreening.
Methods: A questionnaire covering general characteristics, knowledge, attitudes and practices aboutcervical cancer screening was administered and the data obtained were analyzed with SPSS version 16.
Results:The majority of the 78 included participants were nurses with an education mostly more than diploma level.Knowledge about the importance of the Pap smear, early detection and the treatment of early stage cervicalcancer was adequate (90.9 % and 81.6%, respectively) but awarness of cervical cancer risk factors was quitelow. The most frequent reasons for avoiding Pap smear screening were fear of vaginal examination (27.6%),embarrassment (26.3%), lack of any symptoms (22.4%) and being busy (17%).
Conclusion: The Pap smear isappropriate for detection of premalignant lesions of cervical cancer in Thailand but the coverage is still low.Although this study was performed with medical workers, their compliance with screening recommendationswas still low. If we can improve the knowledge and attitudes about Pap smear cervical cancer screening insuch experts, they should be able to readily provide appropriate and accurate information to the population tomotivate the general population to join screening programs.