A questionnaire-based survey to assess knowledge and practice of health care workers regarding genital hygiene: from a rural tertiary hospital in India

Hosp Pract (1995). 2022 Oct;50(4):298-305. doi: 10.1080/21548331.2022.2113657. Epub 2022 Aug 24.


Purpose: Maintaining good genital hygiene is an important component in reducing human papilloma virus (HPV) infections and its sequelae such as cervical pre-cancer and cancer. Awareness on the exact practice of maintaining genital hygiene is important as they are different in men and women, and both are equally important in reducing genital HPV infections.

Study design: A questionnaire-based survey was undertaken to assess knowledge and practice of cervical cancer and its relationship with genital hygiene. Interns, post graduate students, consultants, and nurses were invited. Domain-based assessment was done. Correlation between the domains was performed using Pearson's coefficient.

Results: 87 respondents completed the questionnaire. Six domains on awareness of physical and genital hygiene, cervical cancer causation and prevention, health education and personal experience of cervical cancer were explored. In the awareness domains, the response was uniformly poor in 45-50% of respondents. Nurses had poor knowledge in every domain of the questionnaire.

Conclusions: There is an urgent need to improve and bridge the gap of knowledge and practice in hygiene and cervical cancer. This is necessary since nurses and interns are the first line for disseminating proper information to the general public. Webinars, seminars, and continued medical education (CME) programs must be included in the training curricula to impart knowledge on genital hygiene and cervical cancer.

Keywords: Genital hygiene; cervical cancer; education; knowledge; practice.