Pap smear screening in the primary health care setting: A study from Turkey


Mehmetoglu H. C. , Sadikoglu G., ÖZÇAKIR A. , Bilgel N.

NORTH AMERICAN JOURNAL OF MEDICAL SCIENCES, vol.2, no.10, pp.467-472, 2010 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 2 Issue: 10
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Doi Number: 10.4297/najms.2010.2468
  • Title of Journal : NORTH AMERICAN JOURNAL OF MEDICAL SCIENCES
  • Page Numbers: pp.467-472
  • Keywords: Cervical smear, cervical intraepithelial lesion, cervical cancer screening

Abstract

Background: Cervical cancer is one of the ten most frequent cancers in Turkey. It is well known that cervical cancer morbidity and mortality could be significantly reduced with an active cervical smear screening (Pap smear) program. Aims: The aims of this study were: 1) to evaluate the knowledge and attitudes of women about cervical smear testing; 2) to establish a cervical smear screening program and to evaluate the cervical cytological abnormalities that were found; 3) to determine the applicability, limitations and effectiveness of this screening in a primary health care unit. Patients and Methods : A total of 332 married women were included in our study. We collected data concerning socio-demographic and fertility characteristics, and knowledge about Pap smear testing was determined through printed questionnaires. A gynecological examination and Pap smear screening was performed on every woman in our study group. Results: Over ninety percent of our study group had never heard of and had not undergone Pap smear screening before. Of the 332 smears evaluated, 328 (98.8%) were accepted as normal, whereas epithelial cell anomalies were seen in 4 (1.2%), infection in 59 (17.7%), and reactive cell differences in 223 (67.2%) of the smears. Conclusions: The frequency of epithelial cell anomalies in our study group was less than the frequencies reported from Western countries. Knowledge regarding cervical cancer and Pap smear screening was very low. Pap smears can be easily taken and evaluated through a chain built between the primary health care unit and laboratory, and this kind of screening intervention is easily accepted by the population served.