Knowledge, Attitude and Practices Towards Cervical Cancer and its Screening Among Women from Tribal Population: a Community-Based Study from Southern India

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Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities


Background: Cervical cancer continues to be a leading cancer among women in India. Despite availability of various screening techniques, majority of Indian women remain unscreened for cancer cervix. The increasing incidence could be attributed to the lack of awareness regarding cervical cancer screening and paucity of organized screening facilities in the country. This study assessed the knowledge, attitude and practices (KAP) towards cervical cancer screening among tribal women of coastal Karnataka, southern India. Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 1140 women aged 20–65 years from three tribes. Information on their KAP towards cervical cancer screening was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire. Results: Mean age of the participants was 39.8 ± 10.1 years. Although 82.9% of the participants reported to have heard of cervical cancer, 51% were aware that the disease could be prevented, and only 2.3% knew that it can be detected at an early stage. Over 75% of the participants did not have adequate knowledge regarding cervical cancer. However, majority of them (99.9%) had a favourable attitude towards cervical cancer screening. None of them had undergone cervical cancer screening prior to the study. The knowledge scores were significantly associated with age group, marital status, education level, socioeconomic status and tribal community of the participants (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Overall knowledge regarding cervical cancer among the surveyed women was poor, though they exhibited a positive attitude. This calls for a sustained health education and screening program to create awareness and improve the uptake of cervical cancer screening among these women.

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