Experiences and Unmet Needs of Women Undergoing Pap Smear Cervical Cancer Screening: Impact on Uptake of Cervical Cancer Screening in South Eastern Nigeria
Journal of Cancer Education
University of Nigeria Enugu Campus, Enugu, Nigeria; Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Nigeria
The burden of cervical cancer is on the increase in sub-Saharan Africa mainly due to inadequate provision and utilisation of cervical cancer prevention services. Several evidence-based strategies have been deployed to improve cervical cancer screening uptake without much success. However, patients’ experiences and satisfaction with service provision has not been adequately studied. Inefficiencies in service delivery and less fulfilling experiences by women who attend cervical cancer screening could have considerable impact in future voluntary uptake of cervical cancer screening. Six hundred and eighty women who underwent Pap smear screening in three health care facilities in two states in south eastern Nigeria were interviewed to evaluate their satisfaction, willingness to undertake future voluntary screening, unmet needs and correlation between satisfaction level and willingness to undergo future screening. Satisfaction with Pap smear screening correlated positively with willingness to undertake future voluntary screening (Pearson’s correlation coefficient = 0.78, P = 0.001). The mean satisfaction score was significantly higher among participants handled by nurses than those handled by the physicians (3.16 ± 0.94 vs 2.52 ± 0.77, P = 0.001). ‘Scrapping discomfort’ of the spatula was reported as the most dissatisfying aspect of Pap smear experience. The need for less invasive screening procedures was the most unmet need. It was concluded that improving the Pap smear screening experience of women and providing less invasive methods of cervical cancer screening with immediate results could improve uptake of cervical cancer screening in south eastern Nigeria. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.