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J Gynecol Oncol. 2012 Jul;23(3):141-6. doi: 10.3802/jgo.2012.23.3.141. Epub 2012 Jul 2.

Awareness of cervical cancer screening among nursing staff in a tertiary institution of rural India.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Uttar Pradesh Rural Institute of Medical Sciences & Research, Etawah, India.



To determine the baseline information about the knowledge of cervical cancer and explore attitude and practice of Pap smear screening among staff nurses.


A pretested structured self administered questionnaire based survey was done on 205 staff nurses working in Rural Institute of Medical Sciences & Research, Saifai, Etawah, containing mostly recognition and some recall type questions about demographics, knowledge about cervical cancer, its risk factors, screening techniques, attitudes towards cervical cancer screening and its practices.


In this study, 74% knew that Pap smear is used for detection of cervical cancer, but only 59% knew that it can detect both cancerous as well as precancerous lesions of the cervix. Only 18% of the respondents knew about human papillomavirus vaccine. A 47% of respondents had never taken a Pap smear; 63% never referred patients for the screening. Most nurses (79%) thought that a speculum examination and Pap smear are procedures to be performed by the doctors. Among all the respondents, only 11% had ever undergone a Pap smear on themselves.


Despite knowledge of the gravity of cervical cancer and prevention by screening, attitudes and practices towards screening were negative.


Cervical cancer; Pap smear; Screening attitude

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