Cervical Cancer and Pap Smear Awareness and Utilization of Pap Smear Test Among Federal Civil Servants in North Central Nigeria

PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e46583. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0046583. Epub 2012 Oct 1.


Cervical cancer is a leading cause of cancer death in women in developing countries. A key factor linked to the relatively high levels of cervical cancer in these populations is the lack of awareness and access to preventive methods. This study aimed to determine the level of awareness of cervical cancer and Papanicolaou test (Pap smear test) and factors associated with the utilization of Pap test among female civil servants in Jos. Data was obtained from female workers (n = 388) aged 18-65 years in a Nigerian Federal establishment. Participants were randomly approached and instructed to complete validated questionnaires. Data was analyzed using Chi-square, t-tests and logistic regression analysis to determine if there was an association between variables and identify any predictors of awareness and utilization of the Pap test. Cervical cancer and Pap smear test awareness was 50.9% and 38.6% respectively, with the media as the major source of information. Pap smear test utilization rate was 10.2%, with routine antenatal care (ANC) as the major reason for getting screened. Personal barriers to screening include the lack of awareness, and belief that cervical cancer is not preventable. Opportunistic screening, mass media campaigns and ANC education were suggested as ways of improving awareness and utilization of cervical cancer screening services.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Papanicolaou Test*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Vaginal Smears / statistics & numerical data*

Grant support

The authors have no funding or support to report.