BACKGROUND: Cervical cancer continues to be a global public health concern and a leading cause of cancer deaths among Nepalese women. In spite of the availability of screening and treatment services in Nepal, the utilization of screening has been low. This study investigated knowledge, attitude, preventive practices and utilization of cervical cancer screening among women in a semi-urban area of Pokhara Metropolitan City of Nepal.
METHODS: A community-based cross-sectional survey was carried out among 729 women 30-60 years of age, between April and June 2019. Participants were selected by systematic random sampling, and a door-to-door home visit was conducted for data collection. A pretested interviewer-administered Nepali questionnaire was used to collect information on sociodemographic variables, knowledge, attitude and preventive practices regarding cervical cancer screening.
RESULTS: The mean age of the participants was 45.9 years (SD ±7.7); the majority were married (86.7%). Among the participants, 44.9% were ever screened for cervical cancer. However, only 10.4% of participants received timely repeated screening for cervical cancer. The median knowledge score achieved by participants was 2.0 [interquartile range (IQR) 1-4] on a scale of maximum score 36, the median attitude score was 31.0 (IQR 29-32) on a scale of 40 and the median preventive practice score was 3.0 (IQR 3-4) on a scale of five.
CONCLUSION: This study showed low knowledge and low utilization of cervical cancer screening among women in Nepal. We recommend a community-based educational intervention to educate and empower women to increase knowledge and utilization of cervical cancer screening.