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Open Access Research article

Impact of health education intervention on knowledge and perception of cervical cancer and cervical screening uptake among adult women in rural communities in Nigeria

Olumide A Abiodun1*, Oluwatosin O Olu-Abiodun2, John O Sotunsa3 and Francis A Oluwole4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Community Medicine, Benjamin Carson (Snr) College of Medicine, Babcock University, Ilishan, Nigeria

2 The School of Nursing, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, Nigeria

3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Benjamin Carson (Snr) College of Medicine, Babcock University, Ilishan, Nigeria

4 Department of Community Medicine and Primary Care, Obafemi Awolowo College of Health Sciences, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Sagamu, Nigeria

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BMC Public Health 2014, 14:814  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-814

Published: 7 August 2014



Cervical cancer is a disease of public health importance affecting many women and contributing to avoidably high levels of cancer deaths in Nigeria. In spite of the relative ease of prevention, the incidence is on the increase. This study aimed to determine the effect of health education on the awareness, knowledge and perception of cervical cancer and screening among women in rural Nigerian communities.


The study design was quasi-experimental. The study was carried out among adult women in Odogbolu (intervention) and Ikenne (control) local government areas (LGA) of Ogun state. Three hundred and fifty (350) women were selected per group by multistage random sampling technique. Data was collected by semi structured interviews with the aid of questionnaire. The intervention consisted of structured health education based on a movie.


The intervention raised the level of awareness of cervical cancer and screening to 100% (p < 0.0001). The proportion of women with very good knowledge of cervical cancer and screening rose from 2% to 70.5% (χ2 = 503.7, p < 0.0001) while the proportion of those with good perception rose from 5.1% to 95.1% (p < 0.0001). The mean knowledge and mean perception scores were also increased (p < 0.0001). There was increase in the proportion of women who had undertaken cervical screening from 4.3% to 8.3% (p = 0.038). The major reason stated by the women for not having had cervical screening done was lack of awareness about cervical cancer and screening. There was statistically significant difference between the intervention and control groups concerning their knowledge attitude and practice towards cervical and screening (p < 0.05) after the intervention.


Multiple media health education based on a movie is effective in creating awareness for and improving the knowledge and perception of adult women about cervical cancer and screening. It also improves the uptake of cervical cancer screening. The creation of awareness is very crucial to the success of a cervical cancer prevention programme.

Cervical cancer; Cervical screening; Knowledge; Perception; Awareness; Participatory health education; Movie