Changing knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding cervical cancer screening: The effects of an educational intervention in rural Kenya.
OBJECTIVE: Cervical cancer screening uptake may be influenced by inadequate knowledge in resource-limited settings. This randomized trial evaluated a health talk's impact on cervical cancer knowledge, attitudes, and screening rates in rural Kenya. METHODS: 419 women attending government clinics were randomized to an intervention (N=207) or control (N=212) group. The intervention was a brief health talk on cervical cancer. Participants completed surveys at enrollment (all), immediately after the talk (intervention arm), and at three-months follow-up (all). The primary outcomes were the change in knowledge scores and the final screening rates at three-months follow-up. Secondary outcomes were changes in awareness about cervical cancer screening, perception of personal cervical cancer risk, cervical cancer and HIV stigma, and screening acceptability. RESULTS: Mean Knowledge Scores increased by 26.4% (8.7 points increased to 11.0 points) in the intervention arm compared to only 17.6% (8.5 points increased to 10.0 points) in the control arm (p<0.01). Screening uptake was moderate in both the intervention (58.9%; N=122) and control (60.9%; N=129) arms, with no difference between the groups (p=0.60). CONCLUSION: A brief health talk increased cervical cancer knowledge, although it did not increase screening over simply informing women about free screening. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: Screening programs can increase patient understanding with just a brief educational intervention.
Rosser, JI; Njoroge, B; Huchko, MJ
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