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14.11.2017

The Outcomes of an Educational Program Involving Men as Motivators to Encourage Women to Be Screened for Cervical Cancer

Zeitschrift:
Journal of Cancer Education
Autoren:
Jeniffer Rwamugira, Johanna E. Maree, Nokuthula Mafutha

Abstract

Cervical cancer is a major health problem in South Africa. Despite having a national, population-based screening program, screening coverage is as low as 13%. Based on the role men could play in increasing cervical cancer screening and the low level of knowledge, men living in the study setting had about this health issue, we developed and pilot tested an educational program aimed at empowering men to teach their female partners and family members about cervical cancer and motivate them to be screened. The study setting was Ward 23 in Muldersdrift, a semi-urban, resource poor area situated northeast of Johannesburg. We used an intervention research design to assess the outcomes of our educational program. The primary outcome was screening uptake, with knowledge the secondary outcome. Statistics and face-to-face and telephone interviews, guided by questionnaires, were used to collect the data which were analyzed by means of descriptive statistics and content analysis. A total of 120 men (n = 120) participated in the educational program and 100 (n = 100) completed the post-test questionnaire. Only 30 women (n = 30) reported for screening. The men’s knowledge improved after the education program but did not guarantee that they would educate women about cervical cancer as only 55% (n = 66) indicated they taught a female family member or their partner. Cultural restrictions were the most common reason presented for not teaching women about this health issue. Ways of supporting men to overcome cultural barriers prohibiting them from discussing matters related to sexuality should be explored, before refining and replicating the intervention.

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