Knowledge, attitudes and practices of prevention for cervical cancer and breast cancer among medical students
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ABSTRACT Objective To assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices of medical students for health promotion, primary prevention and early detection of breast neoplasm and uterine cervical neoplasm, as well as to make recommendations for improving the Public Health curriculum at the Universidad de los Andes.Methodology This study utilized a survey of medical knowledge, attitudes and practices applied to fifth year Colombian medical students attending the Universidad de los Andes in the first semester of 2013.Results 64/76 students answered the surveys (response rate 84.2 %): 62.5% (40/64) and 37.5 % (24/64) response rates from students in their ninth and tenth semesters, respectively; and 64.1 % (41/64) and 35.9 % (23/64) response rates from female and male students, respectively. Knowledge: clinical breast exam (CBE), breast self-examination (BSE) and mammography were recommended by 95.3 % (61/64) of students, 96.9 % (62/64) of medical students and 90.7 % (58/64) of students, respectively. Attitude: the most effective tests to reduce mortality in women aged ≥ 50 years were the Papanicolaou test according to 90.6% (58/64) of students and mammography according to 82.8% (53/64) of students. Practice: 55.0% (35/64) of students had received training in the guidelines and protocols for breast neoplasm and uterine cervical neoplasm screening.Discussion To promote early detection of cervical and breast cancer, knowledge, attitudes and practices must be improved to enhance clinical practices (e.g. Papanicolaou test) and medical student training guidelines or protocols for these two cancers. Overall, with induced demand and support from research communities and institutions seeking to make these improvements, we collaborate to decrease missed opportunities in medical research and Public Health.
- Revista de Salud Pública