Prostate cancer knowledge gaps among community stakeholders in rural Nigeria: implications for seeking screening

This article was originally published here

Cancer Causes Control. 2021 May 15. doi: 10.1007/s10552-021-01444-y. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: In Nigeria, knowledge about prostate cancer (PCa) is poor, so are the availability, accessibility, and utilization of PCa screening services. Poor knowledge increases the burden of disease, this is more so in rural settings. PCa, being gender-specific, has underlying cultural connotations. There is a dearth of evidence on the rural-cultural understanding of PCa onset. The study examined community stakeholders’ knowledge, risk perception, as well as the perceived barriers to seeking PCa screening. Rosenstock’s Health Belief Model provided the theoretical framing for the study.

METHODS: The study design was descriptive and a cross-sectional approach to the social constructionist ideas of the qualitative tradition was adopted. There were twenty-one interviews with purposively selected community stakeholders; Fourteen key informant (traditional healers and medical doctors) interviews and seven In-depth Interviews (traditional leaders) held in the Ijebu culture cluster of Ogun State, Nigeria. Narratives were analyzed based on the following theoretical themes: knowledge, risk perception, and perceived barriers to PCa screening. These themes derived their structures from content-analyzed findings.

RESULTS: Results show that traditional healers and leaders have limited scientific knowledge of PCa etiology. Folk beliefs form the basis of PCa knowledge among most stakeholders. However, all stakeholders consider PCa a threat to men. The cultural sense of ‘maleness’ and access to appropriate information about PCa are essential approaches to establishing perceived threat/susceptibility. Cancer health education and distance of screening facilities are primary barriers to seeking screening.

CONCLUSION: Stakeholders’ knowledge of PCa and PCa screening should be improved by educating them and developing integrative community engagement strategies.

PMID:33991283 | DOI:10.1007/s10552-021-01444-y