Knowledge, attitudes and practices on cervical cancer prevention among adult female residents of Kampala Central Division, Uganda.
Background: Knowledge and awareness about cancer of the cervix on the African continent is very poor; yet related mortality is very high. It is the leading cause of female malignancy with 40% in Uganda. However, cytological screening is suboptimal with no clear reasons. General objective: To assess knowledge, attitudes and practices about cervical cancer prevention among adult female residents of Kampala Central Division to generate information for informing prioritization of strategies for their improvement. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study involving qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection was conducted in Kampala Central Division during January 2010. A total of 420 respondents were interviewed using interviewer-administered questionnaires for quantitative data and analysed using STATA version 10.0. Qualitative data were collected using key informant and focus group discussion guides; analysed using manifest content analysis. Results: Mean age of 420 respondents was 29.1((sd) 9.0) years. Most respondents (76.0%; 319/420) had ever heard of cancer of cervix, 70.7% (297/420) knew the cause, while 86.9% (365/420) reported that cancer of cervix was common among women older than 30 years. A few (39.8%; 167/420) knew that it is preventable, 34.3% (144/420) had adequate knowledge of its symptoms and 11.0% (46/420) had ever screened for it. Belief that Pap smear is useful was associated with ever screening for cancer of cervix, 7.26 (3.04-17.35). Conclusions and recommendations: There is low knowledge about cancer of cervix prevention and practice of screening for it. Health education of communities on its facts and benefits of screening for it is recommended.