Title: Perceived benefits and barriers toward cervical cancer screening among women >15 years in Arsi zone, southeastern Ethiopia application of the health belief model in a community-based cross-sectional study
Introduction: The rate of cancer mortality is18.4/100,000 in Ethiopia, and cancer of the cervix is the second-most common cancer, with an incidence of 16.4/100,000. Cancer of the cervix is easily prevented through vaccinations against human papilloma virus, regular screening, and treatment. Assessing the perception of women with regard to the benefits and barriers of cervical cancer screening among women is important to decrease the barriers and increase the screening rate for early detection. The aim of this study was to describe women's perceived benefits and barriers to cervical cancer screening and their associated factors in Arsi zone, Southeastern Ethiopia.
Method: This community-based cross-sectional study design was conducted in Arsi zone, Southeastern Ethiopia among 906 women aged >15 years using a multi-stage sampling technique. After data had been coded and entered into Epi info, it was exported into SPSS for analysis. A binary logistic regression model was used to determine associations between socio-demographic characteristics and reproductive variables on the knowledge of cervical cancer and perception of screening at a value of P < 0.05.
Results: Most of the participants had higher perceptions of the benefits and barriers to screening (567 [62.6%] and 487 [53.8%], respectively). The women who would like to undergo cervical cancer screening in the future when the service was available were 2.6 times more likely to believe in the benefits of undergoing screening than those who did not wish to undergo screening (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.3, 95% confidence interval [CI]: [1.2–4.6]). Women living in rural areas were four times more likely to perceive the benefits of cervical cancer screening than those living in semi-urban areas (AOR = 3.9, 95% CI: [1.9–7.7]). Women who started sexual intercourse at age <16 years were two times more likely to perceive barriers to cervical cancer screening than those who started sexual intercourse at age >16 years (AOR = 2.2, 95% CI: [1.5–3.3]). Moreover, the women who had >3 children were 1.5 times more likely to perceive barriers to cervical cancer screening than those who had <3 children (AOR = 1.5, 95% CI: [1.1–2.0]).
Conclusion and Recommendation: There were high perceived benefits and barriers to screening in the community. We recommend decreasing the perceived barriers toward screening through education intervention and expanding screening services, as this can increase the uptake of screening in the community.
Keywords: Perceived Benefits, Perceived Barriers, Cervical cancer, Arsi, Ethiopia.