BACKGROUND: Despite being one of the most preventable forms of cancer, cervical cancer remains an important public health problem, especially in developing countries. However, there is limited evidence regarding awareness and practice of screening for cervical cancer among women in resource-poor settings like Nepal. This study is aimed at assessing the awareness of cervical cancer, risk perception, and practice of Pap smear tests among adult women of Dhulikhel municipality of Kavreplanchowk district in Nepal. Methodology. A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 422 women (aged 18-45 years) residing across the Dhulikhel municipality of Nepal. Systematic random sampling method with face-to-face interviews was conducted to collect data. A descriptive analysis was performed to assess the sociodemographic characteristics of the participants. The chi-square test was used to determine the factors associated with risk perception and participants' demographic characteristics.
RESULTS: The mean age (±SD) of the participants was 30.7 ± 7.9 years. This study found that around 55% and 38% of women had heard about cervical cancer and Pap smear test, respectively. Of those who had heard of the Pap test, only 37.6% had ever practiced the test. Similarly, 33.2% and 12.1% knew about the correct age group and time interval to perform the Pap test, respectively. Among those who had heard about cervical cancer, nearly 57% had positive perceptions toward cervical cancer. In addition, risk perception of cervical cancer was found to be associated with participant age, family type, and marital status.
CONCLUSION: The women had inadequate knowledge and practice of cervical cancer and Pap smear test. This study concluded the need for a context-specific and effective health awareness program to promote preventive measures for cervical cancer and enhance the practice of Pap smear test in the community.