• awareness;
  • attitude;
  • practice;
  • cervical smear;
  • Jordan

OBEIDAT B.R., AMARIN Z.O. & ALZAGHAL L. (2012) European Journal of Cancer Care21, 372–376

Awareness, practice and attitude to cervical Papanicolaou smear among female health care workers in Jordan

The objective was to investigate Jordanian female health care workers' awareness, practice and attitude towards screening for cervical cancer. A cross-sectional, interview-based survey of 187 female health care workers (53 physicians, 92 nurses/midwives, 42 others) was conducted. Descriptive statistics were generated. A total of 187 female health care workers were interviewed. Over 80% of sexually active interviewees, with a mean age ± SD of 36.5 ± 9.2 years and an awareness score ± SD of 7.91 ± 2.8, had never undergone Papanicolaou smear testing. Nearly half of them (47.2%) were not aware that screening was available. The majority of those who had been tested (19.1%), with an awareness score ± SD of 9.23 ± 3.03, did so as part of a routine visit to their gynaecologist. Only 26% of the participants were aware of the availability of a vaccine against cervical cancer, of which 63% were physicians. It is concluded that the current screening programme is not effective. There is urgent need to influence women's health care providers to highlight the need for smear tests and to develop educational programmes that will target women and health care workers.