Women's attitudes and understanding of cervical cancer and the new National Cervical Screening Program

Nagendiram, Archana, Bidgood, Rachel, Banks, Jennifer, and Heal, Clare (2021) Women's attitudes and understanding of cervical cancer and the new National Cervical Screening Program. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 32 (3). pp. 372-377.

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Issues addressed: The new National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP) has recently been implemented. Little research is available on women's attitudes towards the program. This study aims to quantitatively assess Australian women's understanding and attitudes towards the new guidelines and their barriers to screening.

Method: Authors designed a cross‐sectional survey which was piloted and distributed as a waiting room survey to eligible women that attended a private general practice in North Queensland.

Results: Of the respondents, 53.8% had accurate knowledge of the new NCSP. Most participants (75.8%) believed they were not provided sufficient information about the NCSP and 60.2% wished to receive this information from their general practitioner. The screening test itself remains an issue, with embarrassment and discomfort listed as the most common barriers to screening.

Conclusion: Many women do not have accurate knowledge of the new NCSP. Further health promotion in this area is warranted, where the general practitioner may play a key role.

So What?: While the new NCSP will lead to further reduction in cervical cancer mortality, it appears from the data that women did not fully understand cervical cancer and its screening. This suggests the need for further health education to women about updated screening guidelines.

Item ID: 63395
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2201-1617
Keywords: attitudes, cancer screening, cervical cancer, cervical smear, preventive screening, health knowledge
Funders: James Cook University (JCU)
Projects and Grants: JCU College of Medicine and Dentistry
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2020 23:37
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420605 Preventative health care @ 50%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420319 Primary health care @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920507 Womens Health @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920412 Preventive Medicine @ 50%
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