oa South African Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology - Awareness of cervical cancer and its prevention among women attending a tertiary-care hospital in northern Delhi, India - research

Volume 25 Number 2
  • ISSN : 0038-2329
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Background. Awareness of the natural course of cervical cancer, screening and timely intervention can help to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with this disease.
Objective. To assess the awareness about cervical cancer and the uptake of screening among adult women in northern Delhi, India.
Methods. A cross-sectional observational study (N=401) was conducted at a tertiary-care teaching hospital over a period of 3 months. A questionnaire was used to collect sociodemographic data and probe participants’ awareness of cervical cancer, preventive measures and sources of information. Data were analysed using an independent t-test, with a significance level of p<0.05.
Results. The majority of participants (45%) were between 18 and 25 years old. Approximately a third (34%) were illiterate and 39.4% were educated only up to Grade 10. Almost all participants (99%) were married and 85.3% were unemployed. Only 31.9% of participants knew about cervical cancer, and of these only 26 (20.3%) were aware that cervical cancer is a preventable disease. Only 8.5% of the participants knew about Pap smears and only 1.6% had heard about the human papillomavirus vaccine. Participants indicated that health professionals were the main source of information. Only 2.2% of the entire sample reported having had a Pap smear before.
Conclusion. Low awareness of cervical cancer and its prevention was found among the study population. A national education and communication strategy is recommended to improve awareness.

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