n Africa Journal of Nursing and Midwifery - Registered nurses' perceptions of the cervical screening programme in primary health care clinics in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa

Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1682-5055


Cervical cancer is a significant problem in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. However, the implementation of the provincial cervical screening programme has been slow. Registered nurses need to be knowledgeable about the disease and comply with the screening programme. The purpose of this study was to determine the perceptions of registered nurses in the public sector primary health care clinics in KwaZulu-Natal, regarding the cervical screening programme, problems experienced and their compliance with the criteria for selecting clients for screening. An exploratory, descriptive and qualitative design was used. The sample consisted of all consenting registered nurses from the selected clinics (n = 21), who participated in focus group discussions. Data were analysed using thematic content analysis. Although appreciative of the screening programme, the nurses disagreed with the starting age of 30 and 10 year intervals for Pap smears, believing that younger women are at risk due to HIV and AIDS and sexually transmitted infections. Further education of registered nurses should ensure that they understand the natural course of the disease and the rationale for the guideline policy.

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