Knowledge, Attitudes, and Demographic Factors Influencing Cervical Cancer Screening Behavior of Zimbabwean Women

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2011 Jun;20(6):943-52. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2010.2062.


Aims: The aims of this study were (1) to estimate what proportion of rural females had received cervical screening, (2) to assess knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and demographics that influence cervical screening, and (3) to predict cervical screening accessibility based on demographic factors, knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes that influence cervical screening.

Methods: The study sample consisted of randomly selected, sexually active, rural females between 12 and 84 years of age. Five hundred fourteen females responded to an individually administered questionnaire.

Results: Of the 514 participants, 91% had never had cervical screening and 81% had no previous knowledge of cervical screening tests; 80% of the group expressed positive beliefs about cervical screening tests after an educational intervention. Females who were financially independent were 6.61% more likely to access cervical screening compared with those who were dependent on their husbands. Females in mining villages were 4.47% more likely to access cervical screening than those in traditional rural reserve villages. Females in resettlement villages were 20% less likely to access cervical screening than those in traditional rural reserve villages.

Conclusions: Accessibility of screening services could be improved through planning and implementation of screening programs involving community leaders and culturally appropriate messages. The government should incorporate the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in its immunization program for adolescents, and health education should be intensified to encourage women and their partners to comply with diagnostic and treatment regimens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Developing Countries
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Vaginal Smears / psychology*
  • Vaginal Smears / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult
  • Zimbabwe