Open Access Research article

Predictors of default from follow-up care in a cervical cancer screening program using direct visual inspection in south-western Nigeria

Oliver Chukwujekwu Ezechi12*, Karen Odberg Petterson2, Titilola A Gabajabiamila1, Ifeoma Eugenia Idigbe1, Olutunmike Kuyoro1, Innocent Achaya Otobo Ujah1 and Per Olof Ostergren2

Author Affiliations

1 Clinical Sciences Division, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Lagos, Nigeria

2 Social Medicine and Global Health, Faculty of Medicine, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

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BMC Health Services Research 2014, 14:143  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-143

Published: 31 March 2014



Increasingly evidence is emerging from south East Asia, southern and east Africa on the burden of default to follow up care after a positive cervical cancer screening/diagnosis, which impacts negatively on cervical cancer prevention and control. Unfortunately little or no information exists on the subject in the West Africa sub region. This study was designed to determine the proportion of and predictors and reasons for default from follow up care after positive cervical cancer screen.


Women who screen positive at community cervical cancer screening using direct visual inspection were followed up to determine the proportion of default and associated factors. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine independent predictors of default.


One hundred and eight (16.1%) women who screened positive to direct visual inspection out of 673 were enrolled into the study. Fifty one (47.2%) out of the 108 women that screened positive defaulted from follow-up appointment. Women who were poorly educated (OR: 3.1, CI: 2.0 – 5.2), or lived more than 10 km from the clinic (OR: 2.0, CI: 1.0 – 4.1), or never screened for cervical cancer before (OR: 3.5, CI:3:1–8.4) were more likely to default from follow-up after screening positive for precancerous lesion of cervix . The main reasons for default were cost of transportation (48.6%) and time constraints (25.7%).


The rate of default was high (47.2%) as a result of unaffordable transportation cost and limited time to keep the scheduled appointment. A change from the present strategy that involves multiple visits to a “see and treat” strategy in which both testing and treatment are performed at a single visit is recommended.

Cervical cancer; Direct visual inspection; VIA; VILI; Default