• Article

Study of knowledge, attitudes, and practices toward risk factors and early detection of noncommunicable diseases among rural women in India

PURPOSE: In recognition of the growing burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including cancer, we assessed the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of rural women in low-resourced countries toward common NCDs and the barriers they face in receiving NCD early detection services.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: The study was conducted in a rural block of India using the Rapid Assessment and Response Evaluation ethnographic assessment, which included in-depth interviews of key health officials; focus group discussions with women, men, teachers, and health workers from the block; and a knowledge, attitudes, and practices questionnaire survey. The home-based survey was conducted among 1,192 women selected from 50 villages of the block using a two-stage randomization process and stratified to 30- to 44-year and 45- to 60-year age-groups.

RESULTS: Our study revealed low awareness among women with regard to tobacco as a risk factor; hypertension, diabetes, and cancer as major health threats; and the importance of their early detection. Only 4.8% of women reported to have ever consumed tobacco, and many others consumed smokeless tobacco without knowing that the preparations contained tobacco. Only 27.3% and 11.5% of women had any knowledge about breast and cervical cancer, respectively, and only a few could describe at least one common symptom of either cancer. Self-reported diagnosis of hypertension and diabetes was significantly lower than the reported national prevalence. Only 0.9% and 1.3% of women reported having had a breast examination or gynecologic checkup, respectively, in the past 5 years. Low female empowerment and misconceptions were major barriers.

CONCLUSION: Barriers need to be addressed to improve uptake of NCD early detection services.

Citation

Mahajan, M., Naik, N., Jain, K., Patira, N., Prasad, S., Mogri, S., ... Basu, P. (2019). Study of knowledge, attitudes, and practices toward risk factors and early detection of noncommunicable diseases among rural women in India. Journal of global oncology, 5(5), 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1200/JGO.18.00181