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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1020-4989

Abstract

PERKINS, Rebecca B.; LANGRISH, Sarah; STERN, Linda Jo  and  SIMON, Carol J.. A community-based education program about cervical cancer improves knowledge and screening behavior in Honduran women. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2007, vol.22, n.3, pp. 187-193. ISSN 1020-4989.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892007000800005.

OBJECTIVES: This study examined changes in knowledge and behavior after a community-based cervical cancer education program in Honduras. METHODS: The program consisted of radio broadcasts targeting rural women and presentations to community nurses. The effectiveness of the radio broadcasts was assessed using a cross-sectional design (control groups n = 124, n = 243; intervention group n = 233). A pre-/ post-test design was used to evaluate the nurses’ training program (n = 32). A subset of nurses (n = 16) was retested two years later. Evaluation included t tests, chi-square and Fisher exact analyses. RESULTS: The radio broadcast increased the proportion of women who were familiar with the term "cervical cancer," who could identify means of preventing cervical cancer, and who understood the purpose of the Pap smear. In addition, older and under-screened women were successfully recruited for screening via radio. The nurses’ program improved understanding of the correct use of the Pap smear, the age-related risk of dysplasia, and the proper triage of abnormal results. The nurses retained a significant amount of knowledge two years after this training. CONCLUSIONS: In developing countries, inexpensive, community-based educational programs using radio broadcasts and lecture presentations can increase cervical cancer knowledge and improve screening behavior.

Keywords : Communications media; developing countries; female; health education; mass screening; uterine cervical neoplasms; dysplasia; Honduras.

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