Efficacy of counseling for cervical cancer screening and protective procedures on Saudi women’s health beliefs and practice

Soliman Aziza, Amany S. Badawy, Fouad Abeer


Background: Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer of women in the world, and it becomes a major cause of cancer mortality in low-income countries due to inadequate use of screening services. Currently, little is known regarding cervical cancer incidence in Arabic countries. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, cervical cancer occurs in 4.1/100,000 females in the population. It accounts for 7% of all newly diagnosed cancers in females, and is the eighth leading cause of cancer deaths in Saudi females. Although, the Pap smear test is available at the health setting, the community health awareness program is not well established. Over the past 2 decades, the number of cases of cervical cancer has been increasing due to lack of awareness about Pap smear testing.

Objective: The objective of the study was to evaluate the efficacy of counseling about cervical cancer in changing Saudi women’s beliefs and practices toward screening and protective procedures.

Methods: A Quasi-experimental design that included 100 Saudi women who were administered a structured questionnaire and a Health Belief Model Scale for Cervical Cancer and Pap Smear Test prior to receiving counseling and follow up.

Results: Before counselling, Chi Square test showed a statistical significant 11.649 (p = .02) in relation to the symptoms of cervical cancer. As regarding the methods of cervical cancer diagnosis 45.0% agreed that a checkup should be done every year for early diagnosis and 63.0% believed that early marriage and null-gravidity are leading factors for cervical cancer, while 32.0% and 37.0% agree with lack of community awareness about cervical cancer and neglect of abnormal genital symptoms. A highly statistical significance with (p = .005) in relation to the methods of diagnosis for cervical cancer. 66.0% know about Pap smear testing, while 67.0% had no previous Pap smear examination. The knowledge about HPV vaccination was very low (94.0%) don’t know about HPV vaccination. Post counselling protective practice from cervical cancer showed a high significance related to Pap smear (p = .001) and HPV vaccine, vaginal hygiene care and balanced diet (p = .05). There was no statistical significance in relation to self-examination of the vulva (p = .32).

Conclusions: Primarily beliefs and practices among women in the target group should be evaluated to increase their participation in cervical cancer screening and to develop effective education strategies. There is a need to educate the general community about the disease and its prevention.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v7n2p117

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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