Knowledge of cervical cancer and acceptance of HPV vaccination among secondary school students in Sarawak, Malaysia

Hesham Rashwan, Syarif Husin Lubis, Kiat Aun Ni
Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention: APJCP 2011, 12 (7): 1837-41
Cervical cancer is the third most common cancer in women in peninsular Malaysia and very prevalent worldwide. HPV vaccination and routine Pap smear testing are the best preventive measures. The objective of this study was to determine the knowledge level of secondary school students from Sarawak, East Malaysia regarding cervical cancer and its prevention. Multistage random sampling with various methods in each step was employed to select the sample of 76 students. Results showed that 61.8% had poor knowledge level of cervical cancer and its prevention. There were 60.5% of students who were aware of cervical cancer with Chinese and form four students showing significantly the highest awareness (p<0.05). The main source of cervical cancer information was from their parents (25.9%). HPV vaccination acceptance among students was 22.3% and an association was found between knowledge of cervical cancer with race and HPV vaccination acceptance (p<0.05). In conclusion, the students had poor knowledge level of cervical cancer, its prevention and HPV vaccination acceptance. More efforts should be made to improve cervical cancer knowledge and awareness of the public especially secondary school students in Sarawak. This in turn will enhance the practice of prevention against cervical cancer among students.

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