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Knowledge and Awareness of Cervical Cancer, Human Papillomavirus (HPV), and HPV Vaccine Among HPV-Infected Chinese Women

Zulqarnain Baloch, Nafeesa Yasmeen, Yuanyue Li, Wenhui Zhang, Hongyu Lu, Xiaomei Wu, Xueshan Xia, Shihua Yang

(College of Veterinary Medicine, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2017; 23:4269-4277

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.903370

BACKGROUND: It is important to understand the knowledge that various groups of a population have about cervical cancer and human papillomavirus (HPV) and their attitudes toward HPV vaccination, as it will ultimately influence their decision-making for or against the acceptability of vaccines and other preventive methods. This study was designed to determine the level of knowledge and awareness about cervical cancer, HPV, and the HPV vaccine among Chinese women in Yunnan province.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A survey was conducted in Yunnan province by the Laboratory of Molecular Virology in collaboration with the Yunnan First People’s Hospital in Feb 2015. A total of 388 women were recruited and asked to participate in a questionnaire-based interview that collected information related to their awareness and knowledge about: (1) cervical cancer, (2) HPV and HPV vaccine and willingness to have their children receive vaccination, and (3) demographic characteristics.
RESULTS: A total of 388 HPV-positive women were included; 300/388 (73.3%) were Han, and 88/388 (22.7%) were other ethnicities. Overall, 204/388 (52.6%) of the women were aware of cervical cancer, with a significant difference between Han women and women of other ethnic groups (168/388, 56.0% and 36/88, 40.9%; P=0.015). Overall, 26.5% of the women were aware of the role of HPV in cervical cancer; 29.0% of the Han women and 18.2% of women of other ethnic groups were aware of this role of HPV (P=0.05). The knowledge that HPV infection leads to cervical cancer was higher among Han women (29.0%) compared to women of other ethnicities (18.2%). Knowledge about the HPV vaccine was very low in all ethnic groups, but the Han women were more willing to allow their children to be vaccinated before they become sexually active. A similar difference has also been found in women from various regions.
CONCLUSIONS: Although level of awareness and knowledge about cervical cancer was moderate, knowledge and awareness of HPV and the HPV vaccine was very low. Targeted communication is very important among populations in which knowledge gaps exist in order to promote dialogue about the vaccine among patients and their healthcare providers.

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