Background Cervical cancer is the second most common form of cancer observed among women in Turkey. The participation of women in cervical cancer screening programs is strongly affected by Turkish attitudes, beliefs, and sociocultural structure.
Aim This study was conducted to assess the effectiveness of health education that aimed to raise awareness about Papanicolaou testing and to emphasize the importance of the early diagnosis of cervical cancer.
Materials and Methods The study was conducted as a prospective, randomized, controlled trial and was carried out in 148 women. Seventy-five women in the control group were asked to fill out questionnaire forms. A 45-minute conference-style training was given to 73 women in the study group, and all of the subjects were asked to fill out the forms after the training. The sociodemographic characteristics of the 2 groups and the mean “Health Belief Model Scale for Cervical Cancer and Pap Smear Test” scores of the 2 groups were statistically analyzed by Statistical Package of Social Sciences (SPSS), version 15.
Results There was no statistically significant difference noticed between the sociodemographic characteristics of the 2 groups (P > 0.05). The difference in test scores, which represented knowledge about cervical cancer and Papanicolaou testing, was statistically significant between the control group and the study group (t = 10.122, P < 0.05). In the Health Belief Model Scale for Cervical Cancer and Pap Smear Test, there were statistically significant differences in the following measures: lower levels of susceptibility to cervical cancer score (t = −2.035, P < 0.05), lower levels of perceived benefit from a Papanicolaou test score (t = 3.278, P < 0.05) and lower levels of perceived barriers to Papanicolaou test score (t = −3.182, P < 0.05).
Conclusion Nurses should be involved in educating women about cervical cancer and Papanicolaou testing. By doing so, they can change the attitudes, knowledge, and beliefs of the women.
- Cervical cancer
- Health belief model
- Health education
- Papanicolaou test
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No funding was received for this work.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.