KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDEAND PRACTICE OF PAP-SMEAR AS A SCREENING TEST AMONG WOMEN ATTENDING PRIMARY HEALTHCARE
CENTERS IN ABU-DHABI ISLANDAl Naqbi Abeer, Al Suwaidi Alia, Al Marar Eman, Al Mansoori Reem, Al Bloushi Sakina, Lari Shaima, Nasir Fayeza.
Objectives: To measure knowledge, determine attitude and to assess the practice of Pap-smear testing among women in Abu-
Method: A cross-sectional descriptive and analytic study design using a detailed questionnaire. Three out of the six clinics on
the Island of Abu-Dhabi were selected randomly. This study was applied to married women between 25 to 65 years of age living
in the Island of Abu-Dhabi. Total sample size was 346.
Results: Around (61%) of the participants had fair knowledge about Pap-smear. (70.5%) of the participants knew that Papsmear
is done to detect precancerous stages of Cervical Cancer, out of whom (66.4%) indicated that Pap-smear could help in
the early detection of the cancer. About (38%) of the participants knew that HPV infection is one of the risk factors for cervical
cancer while(58%) of women falsely perceived family history of cervical cancer as a risk factor. Women who had better knowledge
about Pap-smear demonstrated better practice patterns.(54.3%)of the participants thought that Pap-smear is a painful and
expensive procedure. The practice of(59%)participants was categorized as good. About (51.1%) of women thought that family
physicians can perform Pap-smear tests. However, the majority (79.5%) preferred a gynecologist to perform the test.
Conclusion: Lack of knowledge about Pap-smear is the major reason why some women do not get it done timely. Many younger
women do not get screened as consistently as older women. The expense of the procedure and the perceived pain associated
with it are among the factors that can negatively affect the practice of such an important screening tool.
Despite the fact that most family physicians are trained to perform Pap-smear tests, majority of women prefer going to a gynecologist
to get the test done. This may partly be because of lack of re-enforcement and recommendations from the family physicians
to their patients, which studies have showed to be the strongest predictor in getting the test done by the patients
Therefore it is necessary to emphasize the family physicians’ role in educating women about Pap-smear and their competency
in doing it along with policies that mandate such screening programs.
Pap-smear, Knowledge, Attitude, Practice, Abu-Dhabi
Journal of Contemporary Medical Education
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