Predictors of human papillomavirus awareness and knowledge in 2013: gaps and opportunities for targeted communication strategies
- KD Blake, AJ Ottenbacher, +4 authors BW Hesse
- Am J Prev Med
The aim of this study was to evaluate the knowledge and awareness levels of 18-year-old and older women and men on HPV infection, HPV vaccine, and the potential risk factors in Hatay, Turkey. In our study, it was found that overall 27.0 and 23.2% of the participants reported having heard of HPV infection and HPV vaccine. The rate of participants who had heard of HPV infection and HPV vaccine was higher in women than in men (p < 0.000). Thirteen percent of the participants was aware of the fact that HPV triggers cervical cancer, 10.2% penile cancer, and 16.7% genital warts, respectively. The overall vaccination rate of the participants was 2.7%. When the total knowledge score of the participants about HPV infection and HPV vaccine was evaluated according to independent variables, it was found that being a woman, urbanization, and having a high level of education had a positive effect on knowledge score, while never having heard of HPV infection and HPV vaccine had a negative effect on knowledge score (p < 0.000). It was determined in the linear regression model that gender, educational status, residential area, and having heard of HPV infection before influenced knowledge levels. It was determined that the relation between these variables and the total knowledge scores of the participants was statistically significant (p < 0.05). It was also determined that women who had higher educational levels, those who were living in urban areas, and those who had heard HPV infection before had higher knowledge levels. The level of knowledge of the participants about HPV infection and HPV vaccine was found to be very low. Having adequate knowledge about HPV infection and increasing the acceptance of HPV vaccination in public will play an important role in decreasing the rate of mortality and morbidity of the different HPV-associated cancers in women and men.