Although cervical cancer death rates have declined in developed countries, diagnoses and mortality in Jamaica remain high due to lack of proper screening for the disease. In order to decrease obstacles to establishing preventive behaviors and to increase the implementation of services to improve survival, effectual interventions need to be established. In a recent study, Dr. Pauline E. Jolly, professor in the department of epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, in collaboration with Ms. Evelyn Coronado-Interis, UAB MPH graduate, and Ms. Chidinma P. Anakwenze, UAB medical student, enrolled 225 women attending health facilities in western Jamaica in an intervention consisting of a questionnaire containing a pre-test, an educational presentation on cervical cancer, and a post-test. Items on the questionnaire were used to assess attitudes, knowledge, risk factors, and symptoms of cervical cancer among the women. Changes in knowledge and intention to screen were assessed using paired t-tests and tests for correlated proportions. Participants were followed approximately six months post-intervention to determine the rate of uptake of cervical cancer screening.
The authors found “statistically significant increases from pre-test to post-test in the percentage of questions answered correctly and in participants’ intention to screen for cervical cancer. The greatest improvements were observed in responses to questions on knowledge, symptoms and prevention of cervical cancer, with some items increasing up to 62 percent from pre-test to post-test. Of the 123 women reached for follow-up at six months post-intervention, 50 (40.7 percent) had screened for cervical cancer.” The results of this study showed substantially increased knowledge and uptake of screening for cervical cancer as a result of the intervention.
“Increasing Cervical Cancer Awareness and Screening in Jamaica: Effectiveness of a Theory-Based Educational Intervention” was published in December 2015 in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
Journal article: http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/13/1/53