University of Cape Coast, Ghana
Title: Knowledge and practice of cervical cancer screening among female nurses in a Ghanaian teaching hospital
Nancy Innocentia Ebu has completed her Masters degree in Public Health from Northumbria University in Newcastle upon-Tyne, United Kingdom, and currently pursuing doctoral studies at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. She is a commonwealth scholar and a member of faculty at the School of Nursing, University of Cape Coast. She is also the faculty registration officer and an assistant coordinator of foreign programs for the School of Nursing. Her research interests are cervical cancer and maternal health. She has made podium presentations in several international conferences and has papers undergoing peer review in international journals.
Background: Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women worldwide and contributes to high mortality rate among women. This study aimed at assessing the knowledge and practice of cervical cancer screening among female nurses at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana.
Methods: A cross-sectional study involving 264 randomly selected female professional nurses aged 21 to 60 was conducted using structured questionnaire. The study was approved by the Committee on Human Research, Publications and Ethics (CHRPE) of School of Medical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital. Associations between the sociodemographic factors and cervical cancer screening were tested with chi-square at p<0.05 and categorical variables were presented in frequency and standard deviation.
Results: The study revealed that 112 (42%) out of the 264 nurses had ever been screened for cervical cancer. Eighty out of the (112) nurses already screened had no interest in screening again in future. Age significantly associated with cervical screening (P=0.03). Of those who had never been screened 152 (58%), lack of awareness about the disease was a barrier to screening. Sexual intercourse was the main risk marker for cervical cancer transmission n= 208 (78.7%).
Conclusion: The high educational background of the participants did not seem to increase the likelihood of cervical screening. Promotion of cervical screening among nurses will impact the health of women as they educate and encourage other women to access preventive health services.