Awareness, knowledge and experiences of women regarding cervical cancer in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Ndlovu, Beauty Hlengiwe (Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2011-03)

Thesis (MCur)--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Title: Awareness, knowledge and experiences of women regarding cervical cancer in rural Kwa- Zulu-Natal, South Africa. Background: Cervical cancer has been identified as the second most common cancer in women and contributes to the high mortality rate in women. Among all cancers in women, cervical cancer is rated the second most common cancer in women worldwide. In poorly resourced settings, access to services offering cervical screening is still a challenge and it is estimated that more than 50% of women in developing countries have never had a single screening test for cervical abnormalities. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess women’s awareness, attitudes and experiences regarding cervical smear testing and for cervical cancer in rural KwaZulu-Natal and to better understand factors influencing access to and utilization of cervical cancer screening services by rural women. Methods: The method employed was a descriptive study using a questionnaire to collect quantitative data. The sample consisted of 69 women aged 30 years and above, was taken from women who were enrolled in the on-going Microbicide Clinical Trial and attending follow-up clinic visits between July and August 2009. The primary outcome measure for the analyses was who has been screened for cervical cancer and this was assessed from the previous history reports of the women. The secondary outcome measure was to investigate knowledge and perceptions regarding cervical cancer and screening. Socio-demographic factors associated with having been screened were also explored. Results: Out of 69 women, only N=13 (18.8%) reported ever screening for cervical cancer. More than half of women who had never screened reported lack of information as a barrier to screening N=50 (71.4%). Older women aged 35-45, 45 and above were less likely to screen compared to women aged 30 to 34 years of age (OR: 0.06). Having an educational background seemed to increase the likelihood to screen, twice if a woman had primary education (OR 2.0) and almost three times (OR 2.67) if a woman had a secondary or a higher education. More than half of the respondents considered themselves at risk for cervical cancer N=42 (60.8%) and almost all showed a willingness to screen in the future N=64 (93%). Conclusion: Most of the women in this study had never been screened for cervical cancer in their lifetime as reflected by n=55 (82%) while only n=14 (18%) ever screened for cervical cancer. The results of this study cannot be generalised to the population due to the small sample size. However, there is need to facilitate comprehensive health education and the implementation of cervical screening programmes to target women in rural communities to contribute to the success of the cervical screening programme. The results of this study showed that 60% of respondents were informed by health care professionals on cervical cancer screening. Health care workers also should play a vital role in educating communities on cervical cancer and on the benefits for cervical cancer screening, through reaching all patients who utilise health care services with cervical cancer information and also communities through outreach programmes.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Titel: Vrouens se bewustheid, houding en ervarings van smeertoetse en servikale karsinoom in die landelike gebiede van KwaZulu-Natal Agtergrond: Servikale kanker is geïdentifiseer as die tweede mees algemene karsinoom in vrouens en dra by tot die hoë sterftesyfer in vrouens. Van al die tipes karsinoom wat by vrouens voorkom, is servikale karsinoom die tweede mees algemene karsinoom onder vrouens wêreldwyd. Die beskikbaarheid van dienste wat servikale smeer toetsing bied, is nog steeds ’n uitdaging in arm gebiede en daar word geskat dat meer as 50 % van vrouens in ontwikkelende lande nog nooit ’n toets vir enige servikale abnormaliteite gehad het nie. Doel: Die doel van hierdie studie was om vrouens se bewustheid, houding en ervarings van servikale smeer toetsing en van servikale karsinoom in die plattelandse gebiede van KwaZulu-Natal te toets en om ’n beter begrip te kry van faktore wat ’n invloed het op toegang tot en gebruik van servikalesmeer toetsing by vrouens in landelike areas. Metode: Die metode wat gebruik is, is ’n beskrywende studie waarin gebruik gemaak is van vraelyste om kwantitatiewe data te versamel. Die monster het bestaand uit 69 vrouens, ouderdom 30 jaar en ouer, wat deelnemers was aan die “Microbicide Kliniese Navorsingsprojek” en wat opvolgbesoeke by klinieke gehad het tussen Julie en Augustus 2008. Die primêre bevinding, wie al ooit vir servikale karsinoom getoets is, is bereik deur die inligting in die laboratorium verslae van die vroue na te gaan. Die sekondêre bevinding was om die deelnemers se kennis en persepsies aangaande servikale karsinoom te toets. Sosio-demografiese faktore wat verband hou met of deelnemers ooit getoets is, is ook ondersoek. Resultate: Van die 69 vrouens, het slegs N=13 (18.8 %) gerapporteer dat hulle ooit getoets is vir servikale kasinoom. Meer as die helfte van die vrouens wat ooit getoets is vir servikale karsinoom het gerapporteer dat ’n gebrek aan inligting ’n weerhoudende faktor was tot die toetse, N=50 (71.4%). Ouer vrouens tussen die ouderdom van 35 – 45, 45 en ouer was minder bereid om te toets in vergelyking met vrouens tussen die ouderdom van 30 tot 34 (OR: 0.06). Dit blyk asof skoolonderrig die kanse op toetsing verhoog, vrouens met primêre skoolopleiding se kanse dat hulle getoets is, is twee keer groter (OR 2.0) en amper drie keer meer (OR 2.67) as ’n vrou sekondêre onderrig of hoër onderrig ontvang het. Meer as die helfte van die respondente dink hulle loop ’n risiko om servikale kanker te kry N=42 (60.8%) en feitlik almal was bereid om hulle te laat toets in die toekoms N=64 (93 %). Bevinding: Die meeste vroue in hierdie studie n=55 (82%) was nog nooit in hul leeftyd getoets vir servikale karsinoom nie terwyl slegs n=14 (18%) ooit getoets was vir servikale karsinoom. Die resultate van hierdie studie kan nie veralgemeen word nie, aangesien die navorsingspopulasie as gevolg van die klein steekproef te klein was. Nietemin is daar ‘n behoefte vir die fasilitering van omvattende gesondheidsopvoeding en die implementering van servikalesmeer toetsing programme. Die resultate van hierdie studie het aangedui dat 60% van die respondente deur professionele gesondheids werkers ingelig is met betrekking tot servikalesmeer toetsing. Gesondheidswerkers behoort ‘n vitale rol te speel in die opvoeding van gemeenskappe in verband met servikale karsinoom en die voordele van hiervan deur alle pasiente wat gesondheidsdienste benut in te lig omtrent servikale karsinoom en ook deur middel van gemeenskaps-uitreikings programme.

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