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Knowledge, attitude and practice of Nigerian specialist doctors in training of cervical cancer and its screening

ABSTRACT

Chidi Ochu Uzoma Esike, Robinson Chukwudi Onoh, Chukwuemeka Ikechi Ukaegbe, Christian Obioma Aluka, Paul Olisaemeka Ezeonu, Odidika Ugochukwu Joannes Umeora

Tropical Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2018 35(3):327-332

Introduction: Cancer of the cervix is the second commonest cancer among women worldwide, the commonest female genital-tract malignancy in Nigeria, and one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality among women in Nigeria. Health workers are the trusted source of medical information and their attitude and practice toward diseases of public health importance like cervical cancer are very critical if the country must make progress toward the prevention of such diseases. This work assesses the knowledge, attitude, and practice of Nigeria's specialist doctors in training toward cervical cancer and its methods of screening because this is critical to its prevention in the country.

Materials and Methods: This is a cross-sectional study involving the administration of pretested structured questionnaire to fifty specialist Nigerian doctors in training in various disciplines from different parts of the country.

Results: The knowledge of the participants regarding cervical cancer and its screening is very good, with an average of 98%, but their attitude toward cervical cancer screening is poor as only 7 (14%) had ever recommended a woman for cervical cancer screening. The practice of cervical cancer screening among the participants is poor as only 5 (22.7%) of the 22 female doctors in training had ever screened for cervical cancer and only one male specialist doctor in training out of the 28 of them had the partner screened for cervical cancer before this study. Only 4 (9%) of the 28 males had ever recommended cervical cancer screening to their female partner and 44 (88%) of the specialist doctors in training had never spoken to any organization about cervical cancer screening.

Conclusion: Though the knowledge of Nigerian specialist doctors in training on cancer of the cervix and its screening is very good, their attitude to it and practice are very poor.