Impact of pap test compliance and cervical cancer screening intervals on human papillomavirus vaccine acceptance

Daron G Ferris, Jennifer Waller, Ashley Dickinson, Courtney McCracken, Angela Goebel
Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease 2012, 16 (1): 39-44

OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to determine the impact of Pap test compliance and cervical cancer screening intervals on human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination acceptance.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A convenience sample of 499 women 21 to 65 years old completed a 37-question survey in Augusta and Savannah, GA. The survey assessed their knowledge about HPV, cervical cancer, and the HPV vaccine. The questionnaire also determined their Pap test compliance and how longer Pap test intervals would influence their willingness to receive the HPV vaccine. Differences between categorical variables and knowledge scores were examined using χ test and unequal-variance t tests, respectively.

RESULTS: Pap test-noncompliant women were more likely to get the HPV vaccine if they only needed a Pap test every 10 years compared with Pap test-compliant women (27.6% vs 14.6%, p = .02). A greater number (83.5%) of Pap test-noncompliant women preferred the HPV vaccine plus every 10-year Pap test option compared with Pap test-compliant women (31.3%, p < .0001). Most women (87%) responded that they would likely get the HPV vaccine if it would safely reduce the frequency of Pap testing.

CONCLUSIONS: Women are receptive to getting the HPV vaccine in exchange for longer cervical cancer screening intervals. Moreover, Pap test-noncompliant women are more likely to get the HPV vaccine if Pap testing was needed less frequently. Increasing the Pap testing interval may be an excellent method to improving HPV vaccine acceptance in women at highest risk for cervical cancer.

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