Women's knowledge about cervical cancer and cervical screening practice: a pilot study of Hong Kong Chinese women

Sheila Twinn, A T Y Shiu, E Holroyd
Cancer Nursing 2002, 25 (5): 377-84
Cervical cancer is the seventh leading cause of death and the fourth most common type of cancer among Hong Kong Chinese women. Despite the provision of cervical screening programs, women's attendance for screening remains low at 59%. Evidence suggests that women's knowledge about cervical cancer and preventive strategies are significant to their screening practice. A preliminary pilot study consisting of a two-phase descriptive design using quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection was undertaken to investigate the level of knowledge about cervical cancer and cervical screening among a population of Hong Kong Chinese women. From a total sample of 467 women, 242 (52%) responded to a confidential questionnaire, 18 of whom, aged between 30 and 54 years, volunteered to participate in a semistructured interview. A total of 135 (57%) women had attended screening, with those who were married with children significantly more likely to attend. Although no significant difference was found between the overall level of knowledge of attenders and nonattenders, individual items such as women's knowledge of risk factors were significant. The need for further knowledge about the preventive nature of cervical screening and regular screening was demonstrated. Other factors influencing Chinese women's attendance patterns included advice from practitioners and the significance of children to women's propensity for self-care. The implications of these findings to women's attendance patterns for screening are considered, particularly the need for culturally sensitive health promotion and intervention strategies.

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