Perception and Practices on Screening and Vaccination for Carcinoma Cervix among Female Healthcare Professional in Tertiary Care Hospitals in Bangalore, India


Background:Cervical cancer is potentially the most preventable and treatable cancer. Despite the known efficacy of cervical screening, a significant number of women do not avail themselves of the procedure due to lack of awareness.
Objectives: This study was conducted to elicit information on the knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) regarding screening (Pap test) and vaccination for carcinoma cervix among female doctors and nurses in a tertiary care hospital in Bangalore and to assess barriers to acceptance of the Pap test. Materials and
Methods: A cross-sectional, descriptive study was conducted with semi-structured, self-administered questionnaire among female health professionals. The study subjects were interviewed for KAP regarding risk factors for cancer cervix, Pap test and HPV vaccination for protection against carcinoma cervix.
Results: Higher proportion of doctors 45 (78.9%) had very good knowledge as compared to only 13 (13.3%) of the nurses, about risk factors for cancer cervix and Pap test (p=0.001). As many as 138(89.6%) of the study subjects had favorable attitude towards Pap test and vaccination, but 114 (73.6%) of the study subjects never had a Pap test and the most common reason 35 (31%) for not practicing was absence of disease symptoms.
Conclusions: In spite of good knowledge and attitudes towards cancer cervix and Pap test being good, practice remained low among the study subjects and most common reasons for not undergoing Pap test was absence of disease symptoms. The independent predictors of ever having a Pap test done was found to be the occupation and duration of married life above 9yrs. Hence there is a strong need to improve uptake of Pap test by health professionals by demystifying the barriers.