Perceived Susceptibility, and Cervical Cancer Screening Benefits and Barriers in Malaysian Women Visiting Outpatient Clinics


Aims: A main reason for increasing incidence of cervical cancer worldwide is the lack of regular cervicalcancer screening. Coverage and uptake remain major challenges and it is crucial to determine the perceivedsusceptibility to cervical cancer, as well as the benefits of, and barriers to, cervical cancer screening among women.Materials and
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 369 women attending an outpatient centrein Malaysia and data were collected by administering a self-report questionnaire.
Results: The majority of theparticipants (265, 71.8%) showed good level of perception of their susceptibility to cervical cancer. Almost allresponded positively to four statements about the perceived benefits of cervical cancer screening (agree, 23.1% orstrongly agree, 52.5%), whereas negative responses were received from most of the participants (agree, 29.9%orstrongly agree, 14.6 %) about the eleven statements on perceived barriers. Significant associations were observedbetween age and perceived susceptibility(x2=9.030, p=0.029); between employment status (p<0.001) as well asethnicity and perceived benefits (p<0.05 [P=0.003]); and between education and perceived barriers to cervicalcancer screening (p<0.001).
Conclusions: Perceived susceptibility, including knowledge levels and personal riskassessment, should be emphasized through education and awareness campaigns to improve uptake of cervicalcancer screening in Malaysia.