Awareness of Turkish female adolescents and young women about HPV and their attitudes towards HPV vaccination

Sebnem Ozyer, Ozlem Uzunlar, Sibel Ozler, Oktay Kaymak, Eralp Baser, Tayfun Gungor, Leyla Mollamahmutoglu
Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention: APJCP 2013, 14 (8): 4877-81

BACKGROUND: The aim of the study was to assess the knowledge about HPV and HPV vaccines and attitudes towards vaccination among the females aged 9-24 years in Turkey.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Self-administered questionnaires were filled out individually by the participants covering demographic information, knowledge about HPV infection and HPV vaccines, attitudes towards vaccination, and the perceptions of them about their parental attitudes about vaccination.

RESULTS: Of the 408 subjects participating in the study, 41.6% (n=170) had heard of HPV. Thirty-three percent (n=136) knew the causal relationship between HPV and cervical cancer. Only 27.9% (n=114) of them knew that HPV vaccines can prevent cervical cancer. Eleven percent (n=46) of the females participating in the study were willing to be vaccinated, and only 1.4% (n=6) were already vaccinated at the current time. The main reason listed among the participants who were not willing to be vaccinated was lack of information.

CONCLUSIONS: Awareness and knowledge of Turkish female adolescents and young women about HPV, relation with cervical cancer and prevention of cervical cancer by Pap smear and vaccine are still limited. If the most important barrier to vaccination, which is reported as lack of information, were to be addressed, it would greatly impact the decision-making and vaccine acceptance.

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