Document Type : Original Article
Lecturer of Midwifery, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
M.Sc. of Midwifery, Islamic Azad University of Ghuchan, Ghuchan, Iran.
Introduction: According to World Health Organization, 25% of women deaths are due to malignant tumor that 18% of them are because of cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is also one of the most common cancers in Iran and is the third leading cause of death after cardiovascular disease and accidents. Pap smear is the most effective screening method for cervical cancer. In this regard, this study was conducted aimed at investigating awareness, attitude and practice of women toward pap smear.
Methods: This descriptive study was done on 300 healthy women aged 15-65 years, without history of cervical cancer in their family in 2009. Sampling was multi-stage. Data was obtained by a self-made researcher questionnaire which was completed by women. Validity of questionnaire was determined with content validity and its reliability was measured with equivalent reliability method. Data were analyzed using SPSS software version 14.5 and statistical descriptive tests with confidence intervals of 95%.
Results: 41 women (13.8%) of women had good awareness, 178 women (59.4%) had medium level of awareness and 80 women (26.8%) had poor awareness toward pap smear. 162 women (54%) had good practice, 12 women (4%) had medium practice and 124 women (41. 3%) had poor level of practice. 241 cases (80.2%) had positive attitude, 57 cases (19.1%) had no even attitude, and 2 cases (0.7%) had negative attitude toward pap test. The most important motivation factor to do pap smear test was respectively recommendation of health personnel (31.5%), doctor's advice (19.8%) and cancer prevention (6.4%).
Conclusion: According to poor practice toward pap smear in about half of studied women, and high positive women’s attitude about pap test, but their medium level of awareness, offering strategies to raise women’s awareness toward pap smear in order to increase women’s practice seems necessary.